PENSIONERS can look forward to a P1,000 increase in their monthly pension next year after the Committee on Government Enterprises at the House of Representatives approved the P2,000 pension hike for Social Security System (SSS) retirees.
“The consensus [in SSS]is that we grant the P1,000 increase next year, then another P1,000 will be added after a few years, in 2020. In doing so, we will have the chance to address our different problems and give us time to adjust [with the increases],” SSS chairman Amado Valdez said.
Valdez however appealed to Congress that instead of enacting a law, the House should just adopt a resolution to prevent future legal challenges.
“It would be best if it would be a House resolution because once it is enacted into a law, there will be stakeholders who could question this before the court and say this law is in violation of the obligation of the SSS to its members who are paying contribution because their [contribution]are already obligated,” the SSS chief explained. “We want a resolution because this is an initiative of Congress and anything that we will do [about this]should be to the credit of Congress.”
Valdez shared the concerns raised by Neri Colmenares, chairman of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, on SSS’ failure to efficiently collect contributions from employers.
Colmenares said the SSS has only been able to collect contributions from 11.8 million out of 33 million SSS members. He also cited a 2014 Commission on Audit Report showing that SSS has P17.956 billion worth of idle assets, including unrented 102 condominium units, 16 houses and 169 parking lots.