False: pension hike to bankrupt SSS
THE FILIPINO people have every reason to protest the callous inhumanity of President Aquino for rejecting House Bill No. 5842 seeking a P2,000-across-the-board SSS (Social Security System) pension increase. The bill, authored by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, is meant to benefit not only the retirees but, most importantly, the toiling masses of workers who belong to the most exploited sectors of our society.
There is no truth behind the claim that the SSS will go bankrupt by 2027 if the proposed hike is signed into law. President Aquino and his apologists have never seriously taken into consideration the things that can be done to cover the annual deficit should the P2,000 monthly pension is enacted, such as: improving the agency’s highly inefficient collection system and the cessation of outrageous salaries, allowances and perks of its officials. Let alone the SSS’ constantly growing membership, that is, if we are to believe the Aquino administration’s claim that its neoliberal policies—privatization and investment liberalization—are working well for the Filipinos.
Besides, if the government can spend P10 billion to host a superprofit-driven economic summit in the country, then why can’t it spare some to ensure that the hard-earned contributions of SSS members are secured despite the pension increase? As the old saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
The SSS pension bill can still be enacted into law if Congress musters the necessary two-thirds vote to override the presidential veto. Borrowing a line from Bob Dylan: “Come senators, congressmen. Please heed the call.”
SSS pension increase, now!
—DANIEL ALOC, [email protected]
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