“MIDNIGHT perks” amounting to P500,000 a month in monthly wage increase and additional benefits are expected to be received by top executives of the Social Security System (SSS) before President Benigno Aquino 3rd bows out of office on June 30, according to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP)-Nagkakaisa, the country’s biggest confederation of labor groups.
The TUCP, through spokesman Alan Tanjusay, on Thursday said the move is “immoral, unjust and indecent” because it would in effect deprive some 1,000 SSS rank-and-file of any salary increase.
Tanjusay disclosed that once the the SSS-proposed Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) is implemented, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros would be receiving P800,000 in monthly wage.
Drafted by the Good Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG), Executive Order (EO) 203 was signed by Aquino and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa on March 22, 2016 “adopting a compensation and position classification system (CPCS) and a general index of occupational services (IOS) and for the GOCC sector covered by Republic 10149, and for other purposes.”
The labor group called on incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to order a halt in the implementation, a review and amendment of the provision on the compensation system, which includes provisions on basic salaries, standard allowances and benefits, specific-purposes allowances and benefits and variable pay of EO 203, giving “unconscionable ‘midnight perks’ and benefits” to top executives of SSS.
“We are urging President Duterte to issue a cease and desist order to Executive Order 203 that allows excessive increases in salaries and benefits of top SSS executives on top of what they are currently receiving now. These are obviously a ‘pabaon’ or ‘midnight perks’ for Aquino wards and loyalists at the expense of workers’ and employers’ money. We strongly oppose this because this is immoral, unjust and indecent,” Tanjusay said.
The TUCP questioned the move amid the Aquino veto on the proposed P2,000 pension increase for 2.4 million SSS pensioners on January 14, 2016, its silence even on the counter-proposed P1,000 or P500 pension increases and in the SSS management’s rejection of the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave Bill for the reason that both proposals would supposedly affect the actuarial fund life of the SSS.
This also came as workers continued reeling from the measly P10 wage increase granted last week by the National Capital Region-Regional Wages and Productivity Board (NCR-RWPB) despite the P154 petition filed by the TUCP last month.
Citing adverse effect on SSS funds, the outgoing President vetoed the proposed bill allowing for a P2,000 monthly pension increase while SSS top management turned down the Expanded Maternity Leave measure that extends maternity leave to private sector women employees from 60 to 78 days to 100 days.
According to Tanjusay, the TUCP has received information that de Quiros and SSS Chairman Juan Santos were allegedly pushing for the immediate approval of the SSS-proposed CPCS salary increases before the new Duterte administration assumes office in June.
He said if this is approved and retroactively put into effect, de Quiros and the next CEO stands to get an additional P500,000 monthly salary ending up with an almost P800,000 monthly salary.
This does not include all the monetary and non-monetary benefits provided for by EO 203, current SSS benefits and what de Quiros gets from the SSS Commission sitting as vice chairman and what he gets from corporations where he represents SSS shares.