Casiño to SSS: Refund P788 M to its members

PARTY LIST representative and senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño today urged the Social Security System (SSS) to refund the P788.842 million it overcharged its members in advanced interest on salary loans in 2011 as revealed by the Commission on Audit (COA).

“In effect, COA revealed that the SSS has been charging its member-borrowers with an exorbitant 18.45% per annum interest rate. This is definitely unjust and unfair. Even regular banks don’t do that. To think that these borrowers are SSS members and this is their own money that they are borrowing,” said the lawmaker.

In the audit report that COA sent to the SSS Commission, State Auditor V Delia D. Agatep noted that a total of P43.23 billion membership loans granted as of December 31, 2011 by the SSS exceeded the 10 percent limit of the Investment Reserve Fund (IRF) by 38.05 percent or P11.915 billion.

Agatep said the SSS charged borrowers an excessive interest of P982.61 for a P20,000 salary loan, if compared with the computing required under the BSP regulation. “The rate applied was actually 18.45 and not 10 percent per annum,” the audit report added.

“Ano ba naman ito? Sa halip na ibigay ng SSS ang hinihinging dagdag na pension ng mga miyembro nila, eh ino-overcharge pa pala sila at may inihihirit pang tataasan daw ang premiums ng mga myembro. Dapat ibalik o irefund agad ito ng SSS,” said the solon.

Casiño said that this type of excessive and outrageous interest rate imposed on loans must be stopped. He is the author of House Bill 4917or the Interest Rate Regulation Act pegging 12% as the maximum per annum interest rate on all loans.

He is also an author of HB 4365 that aims to raise the pensions of SSS members to P7,000 a month.

“Aside for the immediate refund for its members, the SSS should instead concentrate more on how it can raise the pensions being received by its members without raising the contributions. They should go all out in collecting from delinquent employers who are scrimping on their workers which amounts to around P45.5 billion. This is definitely a huge amount that can be used to increase the pension of members of SSS,” Casiño said.

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