State abogados appeal to Duterte to reconsider veto on OSG bill

State abogados appeal to Duterte to reconsider veto on OSG bill

A group of state lawyers is asking President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his veto of the bill that would have corrected a discrepancy in their years of creditable service.

“We, therefore, humbly request you, Mr. President, to grant us equal retirement benefits in parity with our government lawyer counterparts. Likewise, we seek your help to resolve our prevailing predicament on the incurred gap in our creditable years of service through the payment of the unremitted government share of retirement premiums of the state solicitors to GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) without the added burden of interest,” the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) Lawyers Employees Association said in a statement.

The group is asking Malacanang to reconsider the plight of the state
solicitors, in view of the veto of the OSG Bill (SB 1823/HB 7376).

On March 30, 2007, Republic Act No. 9417 took effect granting the state solicitors of the OSG, with the rank, prerogative, salaries and privileges of the judges of the lower courts.

Pursuant to Section 3 of the law, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) tagged the state solicitors as special members, such that beginning October 2008, the OSG remitted to the GSIS only the life insurance contribution of its state solicitors, which is 3 percent of their monthly compensation as personal share, and a corresponding 3 percent of employer share, for their life insurance coverage.

In 2009, Senior State Solicitor Ismael Miaral filed for retirement claim before the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The DBM, however, denied his retirement claim on the contention that RA 9417 did not confer upon the state solicitors of the OSG the same retirement gratuity benefits as those given to the judges of the lower courts.

The group claimed the denial of the retirement benefits and the classification by the GSIS of the state solicitors as special members, left the state solicitors with no retirement benefits under RA 9417 and incurred them a gap of five years and three months in their creditable government years of service with penalty for interest amounting to P72,752,805 for the unremitted employer and employee retirement premiums to the GSIS for the years 2008- 2013.

“This gap in service resulted in the decrease of our creditable years of service under GSIS,” the group said. (PNA)

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