MALACAÑANG will not stop the grant of huge bonuses to officials of the Social Security System (SSS).
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros Jr. has confirmed that he and seven other commissioners of the private-sector pension fund got at least P1 million each as bonuses for their “good performance” in 2012.
The controversy over the hefty bonuses surfaced at a time when SSS is increasing membership premiums next year so the agency will have enough funds to cover retirement and other benefits beyond the year 2039.
Deputy Presidential spokesman Abigail Valte said that while the commissioners have yet to receive their Performance Enhancement Benefit bonus, it is up to the SSS to take back the bonus.
“It has been approved but they are yet to receive such Performance Enhancement Benefit. As to whether they decide to push through with it, we cannot answer for them,” Valte said in a radio interview.
Marianita Mendoza, the labor representative to the SSS, expressed willingness to return the money following harsh public criticisms. She is the wife of party-list Rep. Democrito Mendoza Congressmen Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna filed House Resolution 369 urging the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to conduct an inquiry on the bonuses.
“The SSS Board has failed to collect billions in unremitted premiums from delinquent employers, which means that they have no right to increase premium contributions. They also have no right to a good performance bonus,” the Bayan Muna legislators said.
They added that many SSS members continue to complain about delays in the processing of SSS applications.
“Even the SSS admits that pensions of senior citizens are below the poverty line. The delays in service should be charged against the management and not its employees because the board is responsible and accountable for the services rendered, or lack thereof, by SSS,” they said.