PPP projects to drain SSS, GSIS funds

THE 25 million members of the Social Security System (SSS) and the 1.5 million members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) should protest the plan of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to source seed fund amounting to P200 billion from both pension fund agencies and other government financial institutions (GFIs).

The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) aired its call over the weekend.

“Hundreds of billions of pension funds currently managed by GSIS and SSS are in extreme danger because of the proposal of the present government to draw funds from the cash register machines of both pension agencies in the name of this anti-people PPP program,” said Pamalakaya in a statement.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap appealed to SSS and GSIS holders to lodge a strong opposition to Aquino’s plan to use pension funds for the construction of support infrastructures to lure investors to participate in public-partnership projects worth P 740 billion offered by the current administration.
“It is very unfair to the 25 million members of SSS and 1.5 million members of GSIS.  The pension funds belong to them and it should be allocated for programs which promote and uphold the welfare of every member,” Hicap sajd.

Pamalakaya noted that billions of pesos of GSIS and SSS pension funds will be used to fund the first set of infrastructure projects under the PPP projects such as the MRT/LRT expansion project, MRT Line 2 extension,  the Panglao Airport project,  Laguindingan Airport operation and maintenance, the construction of Puerto Princesa Airport, Daraga International Airport, Kalibo Airport, the upgrade full operationalization of NAIA Terminal 3, the Manila side of Cavite Laguna Expressway, NAIA Expressway Phase II project, the Central Luzon Expressway Phase 1j project and the supply of treated bulk water for Metro Manila.

Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) president and chief executive officer Francisco del Rosario said GFIs like DBP, GSIS, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the SSS will provide the P 200 billion fund which will complement the P 12.5 billion budget allocated by the Aquino administration for PPP projects in the 2011 national budget.

The DBP head said in providing the seed money for the PPP initiative, the GFIs will provide seed funds to quicken infrastructure development, promote the spirit of public-private partnerships, and finance qualified infrastructure projects via long-term funding in local currency that will be made available to project partners.

“The 26.5 million members of SSS and GSIS in particular and the 94 million Filipinos in general should reject the plan of President Aquino to spend P 200 billion for PPPs. They should get ready for battle royal against this partnership in crime of corporate giants and puppet state known as public-private partnership,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group said Filipinos should go out in the streets, show their outrage and stage an across-the-nation electrifying protest against this biggest plunder of the national economy and triple platinum ransacking of public funds in the name of foreign investments and all time greed.

The militant group asked senators and congressmen to declare the P200-billion seed fund for PPP projects which would be sourced from funds of government financial institutions (GFIs) as grossly illegal, unconstitutional and highly immoral. D’Jay Lazaro

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