The SSS mess

7

AFTER the mess that comes in the wake of the vetoed bill that aimed to raise SSS pensions by P2,000 per pensioner, it is quite clear that legislative work in this Congress has been quite sloppy, that the SSS itself has not bothered to successfully engage with legislators and present its side or come up with a compromise and that the Executive Department either did not see what would hit it, or decided they did not care.

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It is beyond belief that no committee hearings took place to discuss this attempt at large scale largesse to at least figure out if the SSS as an institution could manage it without careening towards bankruptcy. It seems that the legislators did not only not discuss the finances or where they would be sourced from among themselves, they did not consult the SSS officials regarding it all. At least to hear the official stand of the SSS and understand the reasons why. And on the other hand, the SSS seems to have remained passive or paralyzed as the law was swiftly passed without their putting up a stand, an explanation or a compromise to make it viable.

In other words, in a very surreal way this bill was crafted and actually passed in both houses of the legislature with no concern or mind about the financial repercussions, just as though money was growing on trees to be picked at whim. The idea was to spend without figuring out where the revenue would come from. It sure reminds us of the erstwhile congressman who filed a bill to outlaw typhoons flying in the face of Nature’s reality.

Meanwhile, the authors raised expectations among the public. Who would turn down a P2,000 increase in a monthly pension? It is as of now a law in fantasy as it has been proved that there were no attempts as to how or why or any perspective of the future of pension funds and pensioners to come in its wake .

All of these evolving events are singularly mindless and heedless of both the present circumstances and the future reality that they will soon come face to face with to the detriment of nation-building, institution-strengthening and common sense. It is shooting yourself in the foot.

Meanwhile, dashed hopes which were needlessly cultivated by legislators running for re-election are now raising anger levels at the Administration with the usual scapegoat being one person and that would be the President.

But this is not to exculpate the SSS either for their executives’ sloppy and ineffective collection of obligatory dues or their planning for their future which obviously has to contend with higher dues if one plans higher pensions. Actually, they should be initiating higher pensions in the rational way by advocating higher dues or suggesting a raise that they could adequately afford. The lowest pension of P1,200 is a disgrace. No, they just went through their usual routine including the paying of high bonuses, per diems and other allowances to themselves.

For that matter, there ought to be a law that government corporate officials not be allowed a feeding trough of government funds for their being its managers. If the rationale is that these officials are handling large sums that will make large profits (through investments) it is time to remind them that taxpayers’ money is for the taxpayer ‘s benefit and not for the tax collector. Excuse me but any Tom, Dick and Harry who has common sense, a modicum of patriotic service and the opportunity of handling large sums, can automatically make a large profit from the sheer size of the funds under their management.

It does not take genius, creativity or unusual business sense just being there and using some professional consultants on investment. Therefore, those large bonuses based on those large profits are overdoing it. They should be happy with their 13th month pay, their already high salaries and their other government corporate perks.

Now with this mess everyone’s attention is called back to their large bonuses which again are the object of public anger. How can someone on the SSS Board knowing that they give out pensions as low as P1,200 a month blithely accept that with nary a thought of the millions for himself that SSS members have contributed to the fund against that fact?

So, we are all angry – the pensioners who are disappointed, the public that perceives the legislators to have been remiss and self-serving (for the votes they will reap as they attempt to distribute largesse that is not legitimately available) and the taxpayer that sees how extravagantly his money is wasted on government officials in lucrative posts by special privilege. It is time to re-think the government corporation bonuses and better yet, get more patriotic people on board these corporations as well as elect better legislators.

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7 Comments

  1. This is just a simple case of “Kung gusto may paraan at kung ayaw may dahilan” The president does not want to give so he has all the good reasons not to give the increase to the SSS pensioners. The best alternative is to have a president who have already decided to give the increase and will look for ways to do it without jeoparding the stability of SSS. In english they says”If there’s a will there’a way.

  2. When we were active employees, the SSS monthly premium has been raised so many times. According to the SSS press releases, the increases were meant to make the institution financially viable. What kind of formula is SSS using to compute for a retiree’s pension and what financial porfolio is it using that it seems both algorithms and the total monthly pensions are making the SSS coffers empty? Or is it the fat bonuses?

  3. SSS is not a govt.-owned and not agovt. corporation. Its fund is owned by private individuals and not taxpayer’s money and not govt. money. Officials are hired to protect/safeguard and increase the fund for its members and that is from their talent. \By doing their mandated jobs, they are deemed paid and no extra=ordinary effort was done in doing such job. Why is it that the equivalent of doing their jobs are perks and bonuses including the rank and file? Who authrize the perks? It must be the owners of the fund, us. They are not 100% doing their job, they receive the perks> There are uncollected yet =perks.

  4. As rumors fly around, ginagamit naman daw kahit na sinong incumbent president ang pondo ng SSS at GSIS na campaign fund tuwing election. Sana tsismis nga lang at hindi totoo!

  5. The top officials of SSS are all fat pigs sumptuously living off the sweat and labor of the masses. I say “Off with their heads!”

  6. To be fair to the pensioners and future pensioners and the SSS management, let us discuss and analyze the problem. First, the pension given by SSS to pensioners is below poverty line. Around 3000 pesos a month is below poverty line. So SSS is not providing any security to the pensioners . They failed their primary purpose. Future pensioners is at risk by not receiving any benefits by 2027. So after contributing for 20 to 30 years , they will not receiving anything. Is that fair ? That is the mindset of this president. SSS management is milking SSS coffers till it runs dry. The final answer to be fair to the members is ABOLISH SSS till we can still get what we contributed. Liquidate all assets and distribute all proceeds to the members. Everybody happy except this president and the officers of SSS. No more milking cow for them. No more bankruptcy.

    • I agree to this action to abolish the SSS Institution for it has been for many years since its establishment in 1957 and the subsequent years’ of it granting benefits to pensioners, this agency has been failing continuously to fulfill its legal mandate to provide financial security and sustainability of pensioners. Congress and SSS Officials in all cases in the many amendments and presidential decrees to implement the SSS law as originally intended, there is strong indication in those subsequent implementing rules ans regulations adopted were all intended to circumvent the law and therefore, reining personal interest prevail in all instances, basically as the reason why the SSS agency cannot provide the mandated benefits of pensioners, but exceedingly high pays, bonuses and perks of top officials (plus alleged hidden and unofficial uses as campaign funds and etc.) are always perceived to be in normal or worst being legal. I urge proper person to file bankruptcy proceeding and put this SSS Agency under receivership management and receivership accounting system and procedure be effected immediately, while there remains substantial assets to liquidate and pay its obligation, even it will come up like a return of (P0.95) Ninety Five Centavos for every Peso of its obligation, rather than in 20-30 be finally be bankrupt, leaving a (P0.05) Five Centavos return for every Peso of its obligation to to our corrupt Congress and greed of all SSS officials. All SSS MEMBERS SHOULD REACT NOW WHILE IT IS NOT YET TOO LATE.