Neri Colmenares Says ‘Cut Down in Bonuses & Perks Given to SSS Board Members’ to Give SSS Pensioners’ Increase

Stop using bankruptcy as ‘scare tactic’ vs SSS pension hike said lawmakers.

Carlos Isagani Zarate, a Bayan Muna representative told the country’s economic managers to stop scaring the President and the people about the effect of raising the pension of the Social Security System.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier confirmed that he has not yet approved the proposed P2,000 across-the-board pension hike.

Duterte was advised by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III , and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia that the SSS may go bankrupt.

But Zarate dismissed this warning by the Cabinet officials as another scare tactic, the same technique used by the previous SSS administration.

He said that it would be ridiculous for the three Cabinet officials to say that the SSS would go bankrupt, since it would be given anyway in two tranches so the agency could still raise more funds.

He also pointed out that the proposed P2,000 pension hike would only translate to P66 per day for the much needed additional fund for our senior citizens’ food, maintenance medicine and other expenses.

The initial P1,000 increase beginning this month would just mean P33 per day of additional funds for the elderly pensioners, Zarate explained.

Neri Colmenares also asked the Cabinet officials to stop trying to mislead the people and the President that the SSS has no funds for the P2,000 pension increase, this is not true.

These people are trying to sabotage the distribution of the P2,000 pension increase, even if it has actually admitted several times that it has the funds for the pension increase.

Fourteen years is more than enough time for the government and SSS to find ways to increase its fund life, he said.

We are in a better shape than the United Kingdom (UK) which has a fund life of only up to 2027 and Canada which has a fund life of 2022 or merely seven years,he further said.

Instead of harping on increasing contributions, Colmenares said, the SSS should improve its collection efficiency from the employers of its 31 million members; collect the billions in contributions from delinquent employers, who failed to remit in the last ten years;

They should cut down in bonuses and perks given to its Board members and collect the disallowed more than P200-million retirement package given to SSS Board Members in 2009; and collect the fines imposed by the courts against employers who violated the SSS law.

And if the proposals were not enough, he said Congress can always provide for subsidies as provided for under the law.

Colmenares urged the Cabinet officials to just work with the SSS leadership and Congress in looking for ways to increase its current fund life.