The Palace won’t stop the P10 billion bonus for Social Security System (SSS) employees even if the bonus came amid the increase of dues for SSS members, a Palace official said Saturday.
Palace deputy Spokesman Abigail Valte made the statement in light of the outrage of the public and a number of lawmakers regarding the P10 million Performance Enhancement Benefit bonus that the SSS members will receive even if the SSS claimed that it is struggling with its finances and as such needs to i crease the premiums of SSS members.
“As far as we know 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.
“The response on the public’s sentiment on the bonus is on the SSS,”‘Valte added.
Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna earlier filed a House Resolution 369 which tasks the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to conduct such inquiry on the hefty bonuses in aid of legislation.
The Bayan Muna lawmakers noted that such move of granting bonuses is a bitter pill to swallow since SSS has continuously refused to support the increase in pension for SSS members by claiming that it does not have enough funding to do so.
The P10 million worth of bonus was taken from SSS corporate funds at a time that the Board is set to hike its membership premium because of unfunded liability.
“The SSS Board has failed to collect billions in unremitted premiums from delinquent employers, which not only means that they have no right to increase premium contributions but also that they have no right to a good performance bonus,” the Bayan Muna legislators said in their House Resolution.
Further, the Bayan Muna lawmakers cited that many SSS members continue to complain about delays by months and even years of the processing of SSS applications such as those for disability, pension, funeral and death benefits.
“Even the SSS admits, that pensions of retiree senior citizens is below the poverty line. The delays in service should be charged against the management and not its employees because the Board is responsible and therefore accountable for the services rendered, or lack thereof, by SSS,” they added. LLANESCA T. PANTI