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Hike in SSS premiums to ’embolden lazy execs’ — Bayan Muna

/ 12:39 PM February 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The recently-signed Social Security System (SSS) Rationalization Act would “just further burden SSS members” and “pander to the inefficiency of SSS executives,” Bayan Muna Chair Neri Colmenares said on Monday.

“Matagal na itong itinutulak ng mga tamad na SSS executives para lalong ‘di na nila galingan ang pangongolekta at paghabol sa mga pasaway na employers na di nagreremit ng SSS premiums ng mga mangagawa. Kaya ngayon ay mga manggagawa at matitinong employers na naman ang kanilang pahihirapan sa pagtataas ng kontribusyon sa SSS,” Colmenares, an opposition senatorial candidate, said in a statement.

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President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed the SSS Rationalization Act which would gradually increase the monthly contributions to 15 percent by 2025 from the current 11 percent. Contributions will increase to 12 percent this year.

READ: SSS to hike contribution rate to 12% in 2019 | New law to increase SSS contributions

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Citing a Commission on Audit 2017 report, Colmenares noted that state-run pension fund has P13.778-billion uncollected premium and penalties from 122,658 delinquent employers, while it has P823-millon uncollected loans from non-existing or unlisted companies.

“This is already around P14.5 billion not collected by the slacking SSS Board,” Colmenares lamented.

The Makabayan senatorial bet said increasing the SSS social pension is needed but increasing the SSS contribution is not.

“’Pag mataas ang pension ng senior citizens at retirees, mas maayos ang lagay nila at hindi sila pabigat sa kanilang mga pamilya. Hindi dapat isangkalan ito ng tamad sa SSS board para itaas ang premium,” opined Colmemares.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate meanwhile argued that “the SSS Board is trying to pit the pensioners and the current members so as to obscure the fact that the Board’s performance is dismal to say the least even if they each earn millions of pesos.”

“While Officers of the Social Security System (SSS) received nearly P117 million in salaries, allowances and other incentives in 2014, pensioners are living on a P73 a day budget which can hardly buy food what more maintenance medicine,” said the Davao-based solon.

According to Zarate, SSS top executives earn at least P100,000 a month while pensioners can hardly eat.

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Instead of increasing contributions, Colmenares maintained that SSS should improve its collection efficiency from the employers of its 31 million members; and collect the billions in contributions, which delinquent employers failed to remit in the last 10 years.

Colmenares also said the pension fund should cut down in bonuses and perks given to its Board members and collect the more than P200 million disallowed retirement package given to SSS Board Members in 2009 and the P71.6 million excess allowance and benefits ordered returned last year by the COA, as well as collect the fines imposed by the courts against employers who violated the SSS law. /je

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TAGS: Bayan Muna, Colmenares, hike, increase, latest news, Social Security System, SSS, SSS premiums
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