THE Lower House is moving to provide retired members of the judiciary with sufficient benefits after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, in recognition of their service to the nation.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez (2nd district- Partido ng Masang Pilipino) announced over the weekend the approval on third reading of House Bill 6820, or an Act Granting Additional Retirement, Survivorship, and other Benefits to Members of the Judiciary.

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He said legislators supporting the measure are close to achieving their objective of "ensuring the welfare of colleagues in the judiciary."

"It is the hope of every member of the House that this measure once passed into law, offers to them a modest gesture of our collective gratitude for their service to the country," Rodriguez said.

HB 6820 grants retiring justices who have rendered at least fifteen years of service a lifetime pension equivalent to their salary at the time of their departure from the service plus the highest monthly aggregate of transportation, representation and other allowances such as Personal Economic Relief Allowance (PERA).

Retiring judges with less than 15 years of service will still be provided similar benefits but on a pro-rate basis- with the formula clearly stated in the proposed law, said Rodriguez.

Furthermore, one legitimate child of the retiring justice will be granted an educational scholarship, covering free tuition fee for a four-year course in a state university or college of their choice.

"The economic aspect which often strongly influences a judge to leave public service and engage in more lucrative private practice will likewise be addressed once this bill is passed into law," he said. (ALR)