Legazpi City (Jan. 2, 2017) – The militant party-list group Bayan Muna does not believe that the Social Security System (SSS) would face financial ruin should the 2000-peso increase for its pensioners push through.
Instead, Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate suggested that the SSS work harder and called for an end to debates regarding the issue.
This was his reaction on the recent memorandum issued by three cabinet members regarding the possible insolvency of the SSS following the upturn of the retirement income.
The said memo was signed by Sec. Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Sec. Carlos Dominguez of the Department of Finance and Sec. Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Zarate explained that the present terms of the increase had been provided by no less than the SSS after requesting a joint resolution on the matter from both houses of congress.
According to the proposal, the increase would come in two tranches wherein the first one (PhP 1,000.00) would be in January 2017 and the second would be in January 2019.
He said they (congress) were surprised because the matter of bankruptcy was never mentioned in the said plan prior to the issuance of the memo by the administration’s economic managers.
The militant congressman is confident that the SSS would be able to meet their own proposal if they would be able to solve some snags they are facing.
Four of these, according to Zarate, are the recovery of funds lost during a latest loan condonation program, the filing of cases against delinquent employers and the disposal of several non-performing real estate assets.
The fourth is to convince congress to pass a legislation allowing the SSS to enter into more productive investment portfolios to augment its finances.
Meanwhile, the SSS was quick to agree that indeed, they needed to go into better investment projects to cope up with this pension increase.
Marichu Bugante, SSS Vice President for Public Affairs, explained that they would be needing 64 billion pesos yearly for the two million pensioners they would be servicing.
Nevertheless, Bugante assured the public that while bankruptcy could be a possibility, the SSS are exerting efforts to be able to make good of their pledge for the pension increase. (J. Garalde)