SSS takes issue with PDI report on PhilHealth
We are writing concerning a report that appeared in the Inquirer last Oct. 17 (Front Page, “PhilHealth ailing but execs happy with bonuses,”) written by Cynthia D. Balana and Kristine Felisse Mangunay. While the article deals mainly with PhilHealth, it takes a dig at the Social Security System (SSS).
After saying that PhilHealth is not making money (it is “ailing”) but is giving bonuses to its officers anyway, it says this about the SSS: “The COA has also said the SSS had not been a paragon of virtue, but the president of the state pension system for private sector, Emilio S. de Quiros went ahead anyway with the bonuses for its board.”
We find the statement an example of unfair, if not sloppy, journalism. Why?
1. While trying to suggest that the two offices are equally guilty of unjustified bonuses, the article shows nothing about the SSS losing money. That is because the SSS is not losing money, it is making money. Big money in fact.
2. What is made to look like the equivalent of losing money is the Commission on Audit (COA) apparently determining that the SSS “had not been a paragon of virtue.” What exactly does that mean? Does that mean that although the SSS is not ailing financially, it is ailing in the sense that corruption is happening there?
That is a serious accusation, and the least the Inquirer reporters could have done was to quote exactly what the COA said, whether it was referring to the current SSS administration or a past one—if it really said anything at all to this effect. But to condemn the current SSS management again on the basis of such vague and incomprehensible statement as “the COA has also said the SSS had not been a paragon of virtue” is just too much.
We respect the Inquirer and appeal to its sense of professionalism and fair play. Again we say the above is a clear case of prejudiced reporting and it has no place in your reputable newspaper.
—MARISSU G. BUGANTE,
Public Affairs and Special Events,
Social Security System,
East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
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