Something seems quite awry in the Social Security System Board awarding itself a bonus of P1 million. It is also outrageous that for every board meeting, they give themselves a per diem of P40,000.
The President of the Social Security System has said something about being rewarded for a job well done and therefore they deserve every single peso of the eye-popping sums. Shades of pork barrel and whatever else in these justifications to give away taxpayers’ money blithely.
As far as we the public are concerned serving on the Social Security Service board is a government job, rendered as a public service for which adequate but modest allowances are called for. Nothing so much as the equivalent of picking money from trees or the air or, more truthfully, taxpayers’ pockets. Using our contributions in such a cavalier way leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It cannot under the circumstances of struggling contributors parting with hard-earned money be justified.
I am not to be bamboozled by the amounts that the Social Security System rakes in monthly, or the huge investments it has in money-making instruments, interest-paying schemes, that in context make the bonus and per diem look small. These sums all come from the captive taxpayers who are obliged by law to pay contributions to Social Security. It’s the population number, not the hard work of anyone, least of all the board members and their officers that is the reason and the context. The Board did not expand the contributors or contributions, it was a done deal. So, what effort are they to be credited with to justify the bonus? And how many mountains, rivers and seas do they cross or negotiate to attend a board meeting and justify P40,000 as an allowance?
If the above is insistently rationalized as being well-deserved because the bonus is a pittance of the assets and cash flow of the Social Security System, it can only be called taking advantage of a cash cow for no other reason than there is cash for the taking.
Furthermore, what is the wonderful service that the Social Security System gives to its members? Crowded offices, lackadaisical employees (not enough energy, not enough in numbers) that cannot come up to the level of service that is needed to help the very contributors that give it its lifeblood. Try going to one of their offices and see how long it takes you to transact any business. Note how you are left standing in line, ignored as to the need for explanations, or given any information on procedure, never having an idea of how much time it will take to accomplish a simple matter as registering an employee, getting a photograph for an ID, proving that one has not passed away but is alive and well and fully deserving of their only too modest pension. If there is service rendered in these offices, it is usually from the security guards who are by no means SSS employees.
Relatives, friends, ordinary acquaintances have long lists of complaints. Such as senior citizens not given the courtesy of their own line, tellers scarce and far between, meager increases in pension despite inflation. But because of their “nice” performance the board gets sweeping increases in bonuses, ridiculously high per diems for meetings and everything else to justify their comfort and their self-pampering.
Is this what public service is? It looks more like private benefit. And to think that the whole shebang might end in 2039 because it is not getting enough to go farther. What is so great about the job they are doing if 2039 is the end?
If the Executive has made membership the Social Security System Board a sinecure in public service, earning more than private sector employees, getting away with poor performance through tardy service and selfish behavior, riding the crest of its captive contributions, then he has made a huge error. Government service is not for private gain, has never been that and should not start now.
Even if we are in the context of obscene pork barrel figures and other misuse of public monies, the P1M Social Security Service bonus cannot be justified. The P40,000 per diem for board meetings is a disgrace in wanton expenditure of contributors’ money.
I dare the Board and its President to put the above information in every office where poor service is daily rendered and see what the put upon Social Security membership has to say.