SSS pension hike would have pulled down PH credit rating – Osmeña
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ credit rating could have suffered had President Aquino approved the P2,000 Social Security System pension increase without a proper funding source, said Sen. Sergio Osmeña III who continued to defend the chief executive’s veto of the proposal.
Osmeña said it would not be proper for the government to spend money it did not have, which would have happened if the SSS pension was increased by P2,000.
“It’s nice to be popular but it’s better to be right,” Osmeña told reporters.
The proposal to increase the pensions of the agency’s retired members had not been accompanied by any measure to determine where the funds would come from, he said. If it had been approved, the SSS would have been left with no funds for other members in the future, he said.
“You can’t spend money that you don’t have. That’s financial suicide,” he said.
Had the President approved the bill, he said the Philippines’ ratings by credit rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s would have suffered.
“They will say, these Filipinos are doing something foolish because they are spending money they can’t afford to spend,” he said.
The government had to follow the advice of financial managers when they say that the proposed P2,000 pension increase could not be sustained, he said.
Osmeña said that for the P2,000 pension increase to be viable, the SSS should increase members’ contributions. If the agency’s income would not be increased, it would go bankrupt in the future, he added. SFM