Column proves need for SSS reform

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We wish to provide our comments on Amando Doronila’s piece about the Social Security System (SSS) titled “Premium increase upsets SSS” that appeared in the Inquirer on Feb. 3.

The SSS is the basic scheme for social security protection of Filipino workers, covering even the informally employed and those subsisting on low incomes. Doronila’s description of social safety nets as “limited” and “inadequate” further underscores the need for the SSS Reform Agenda, so that the SSS can provide meaningful benefits for members as well as ensure the fund’s long-term viability. The recent increase in contributions, a vital component of the Reform Agenda, was approved for implementation based on the proposal’s significance and urgency.

Regarding the issue on the overseas trips of SSS president and chief executive officer Emilio de Quiros Jr., we wish to clarify that Mr. De Quiros does not travel on first class tickets on the account of SSS, as wrongly alleged by Doronila. At best, he is entitled to business class, befitting his position as SSS head, and at times on economy class for short trips. These travels are part of our campaign to promote the value of SSS membership among overseas Filipino workers, gather on-the-ground assessment of barriers between OFWs and the SSS, and pursue new bilateral social security agreements for fairer and more equitable social protection of our migrant workers.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to air our side.

—MARISSU G. BUGANTE,

vice president,

Public Affairs and

Special Events Division,

Social Security System,

East Avenue, Diliman QC

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