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Continuing mismanagement of SSS

05:02 AM January 16, 2019

The recent announcement of the Social Security System that it would not be able to fulfill the second half of the P2,000 monthly pension increase of SSS retirees for this year, which President Duterte promised, is extremely unfortunate.

This, alongside the record-high inflation that the country suffered in 2018, the announced salary increases for teachers, soldiers and policemen, and even the enviable adjustment in the monthly pension of World War II veterans from P5,000 to P20,000 per month.

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We, senior citizens from the private sector, do not wish to assail the contention of the SSS that its funds are not actuarially sound to sustain the President’s promise. But, tracing back its long history, we cannot understand why the financial position of SSS has become so unhealthy.

In the beginning, SSS covered medical care and housing loan benefits for its members. Then PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig Fund were born.

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Yet, SSS was not known to reduce its manpower and other resources, as well as members’ monthly dues, corresponding to this change.

On the contrary, all SSS members, who also became PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig members, began to pay separate and newer dues to the two other agencies.

All these developments were tantamount to allowing the SSS to maintain its customary income from members’ dues, while simultaneously penalizing the same members through additional PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig dues.

If this is not clearly unfair, we do not know what is.

The SSS could have taken advantage of the extra income it had rather unduly retained. Imagine the millions of pesos it continued to receive monthly for many years following the birth of PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig, without having to contend with the corresponding expenses.

That the SSS did not do what it must is clearly a sign of extreme naiveté and very poor management.

But let the dead past bury its dead. All we wish to point out is this: Because of the continuing mismanagement of SSS, most retirees may no longer be around to see the day when the President’s commitment to us is fulfilled.

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RUDY L. CORONEL,
[email protected]
gmail.com

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TAGS: inflation, Inquirer letters, Rodrigo Duterte, Rudy L. Coronel, Social Security System, SSS
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