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No need to raise SSS members’ monthly contributions

MAY I offer a win-win solution to increase the Social Security System (SSS) pension by P2,000 or more without increasing the members’ monthly contributions.

1. Fire or relieve all corrupt and inefficient SSS officials and employees, and replace them with competent ones from the private sector, with proven track employment record. There is a huge pool of able-bodied SSS pensioners from the private sectors who retired as supervisors, managers, vice presidents and consultants. Many of them can be tapped by the agency and would be willing to volunteer their services—pro bono or for just an allowance or minimal pay; after all, they are the true stakeholders of the agency’s funds. So, the SSS can save huge amounts of money, aside from getting dedicated service and excellent performance from them as they are primarily motivated by the desire to help the agency ensure and enhance its profitability instead of defrauding it.

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2. Invest the agency’s billions of funds in highly profitable business like malls, condos, high-end housing, commercial buildings and other highly profitable ventures. This can be done with the expertise of the newly hired competent, highly trained and experienced technocrats—from different industries and fields—who are matched to the right positions. The agency could establish extended lucrative businesses or tie up with companies with a track record of good performance and profitability.

3. Sell all of the agency’s nonperforming assets to raise the needed funds for investment.

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4. Drastically cut down unnecessary expenses and improve
collection efforts through innovative measures.

5. Provide security of tenure for the top management of the agency to avoid their replacement every time the country has a new president in order to provide the continuity of viable programs that have been started.

6. Closely and professionally make an external and internal audit of the operations and the funds to avoid corruption and irregularities. An independent auditing entity apart from the Commission on Audit (which has been proven ineffective in the past by the massive corruption in the government) is needed.

It may take a year or two, or even more, for the SSS to achieve complete transformation into a highly profitable organization but by that time, the agency can afford to pay its pensioners the decent pension they rightly deserve. The concept is for the agency to earn from the investments three to four times what it is earning now. After all, earnings from investments are the bigger source of SSS funds; the other source, the members’ monthly contributions, is only about 28 percent of the total amount being paid for the pensions. Consequently, should the earnings from investments triple, increasing the monthly contributions would no longer be necessary.

—RICKIE U. FERNANDO, Sun Valley, Parañaque City

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TAGS: letter, monthly contribution, opinion, pension, pension hike, Social Security System, SSS, veto
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