Bayan Muna hits Pres. Aquino for pushing for SSS premium hike

“PRES. Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) statement on the supposed need to increase the SSS premium instead of the pension belittles the sufferings of our senior citizens who are pensioners,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares.

“Grabe na ang liit ng pension, grabeng pahirap pa sa tao ang dagdag sa SSS contribution, and to think di rin nya pinayagan ang across the board wage increase,” he added.

He said Pres. Aquino made it look like SSS was in dire straits. “But, fact is, SSS has the figures which do not call for a premium increase: their assets and investments which amounted to P345 billion in 2010; their yearly income of P21-23 billion; the collectibles of P8.5 billion; and the perks and bonuses that the SSS management receive which should be subjected to scrutiny. Recall the P200 million that SSS executives received in 2010, kailangan pa nga bawiin yun. Let’s not even mention the overcharging they did for members’ loans in 2011. It is the efficiency of the SSS management that really has to be increased to prolong the fund life of SSS,”

“Pres. Aquino should instead support Bayan Muna’s bill, House bill 175, increasing the SSS pension. HB 175 reflects the real clamor of the pensioners who are our senior citizens,” added the progressive solon.

“The SSS has 29 million members unlike the GSIS, but it claims to have no money.  The fact that it has billions of uncollected premiums means its losing money due to either corruption or inefficiency. Surely our senior citizens should not be made to suffer due to the fault of SSS management. In the same way that the Bureau of Customs was put to task for failure to collect revenues, the SSS must be criticized instead of rewarded for its failure to collect unremitted contributions particularly those not remitted by big companies,” Colmenares ended.

In the 15th Congress the Bayan Muna SSS pension increase bill passed on the third reading.

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