Duterte ap­proves SSS P2K pen­sion hike

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

The So­cial Se­cu­rity Sys­tem (SSS) has de­clared its sup­port for Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s de­ci­sion to ap­prove an across-the­board pen­sion increase of P2,000 that would ben­e­fit the agency’s over two mil­lion pen­sion­ers, with the ini­tial P1,000 increase ef­fec­tive this month and an­other P1,000 in 2022 or earl i er.

How­ever, the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive in­structed the SSS to in­cor­po­rate the pro­posal of the eco­nomic man­agers to en­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of the pen­sion fund by im­ple­ment­ing an ad­di­tional 1.5 per­cent con­tri­bu­tion rate and lift­ing the max­i­mum monthly salary credit (MSC) to P20,000 from the cur­rent P16,000 by May 2017.

Duterte said that “SSS should be seen as long-term sav­ings and not an ex­pense,” adding that ac­tively-pay­ing mem­bers en­joy six types of ben­e­fits and loan priv­i­leges.

The Pres­i­dent added that legal en­force­ment of the SS Law will be strength­ened through is­suance of Ex­ec­u­tive Or­ders to en­sure so­cial pro­tec­tion of work­ers.

SS Chair Dean Amado Valdez thanked the Pres­i­dent on his de­ci­sion to grant the pen­sion hike. He also ac­knowl­edged the as­sis­tance of eco­nomic man­agers and lawmakers who showed con­cern for SSS pen­sion­ers and mem­bers.

“This shows that the Pres­i­dent truly cares for our el­derly who have been wait­ing for the out­come of the pro­posed P2,000 increase. At the same time, his de­ci­sion to im­ple­ment the pen­sion increase with a cor­re­spond­ing con­tri­bu­tion hike and in­creas­ing the MSC lim­its sup­ports the con­tin­u­ing re­forms in SSS to con­sider the wel­fare of the greater pop­u­la­tion of over 30 mil­lion mem­bers, who look for­ward to their own SSS pen­sions at the time of their re­tire­ment.”

Once im­ple­mented, the com­bi­na­tion of ad­di­tional con­tri­bu­tions and in­creas­ing the MSC ceil­ing would put the SSS lifespan at 2040 as of 2017.

Dean Valdez con­curred with the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive’s pro­nounce­ment that the tax­payer’s money should not be used to fund the SSS pen­sion hike. “He is be­ing re­spon­si­ble when he said the gov­ern­ment should not sub­si­dize the pen­sion hike be­cause SSS is a pri­vate pen­sion fund by na­ture and it is un­fair for tax­pay­ers to shoul­der in­creases in SSS ben­e­fits.”

To help fund the pro­posed pen­sion hike, Dean Valdez said SSS will also in­ten­sify its col­lec­tion ef­forts and im­prove its col­lec­tion ef­fi­ciency by go­ing af­ter non-com­ply­ing em­ploy­ers.

An­other strat­egy to im­prove rev­enues is in the area of in­vest­ments. Dean Valdez re­it­er­ated SSS plans to di­ver­sify as­sets by di­rectly in­vest­ing in up to 25 per­cent own­er­ship in a wide range of in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects like toll roads, real es­tate and even lotto op­er­a­tions.

On the is­sue of op­er­at­ing ex­penses, Dean Valdez said that SSS has cut down its op­er­at­ing ex­penses in its 2017 bud­get by P1 bil­lion as it seeks mea­sures to im­prove its performance and ad­dress the ex­ist­ing struc­tural im­bal­ance in fundi ng.

Dean Valdez also re­sponded to is­sue of salaries and bonuses of SSS

CITY OF FER­NANDO— House wife Maria Lour­des Fe Mallari was in the surprise of her life when she heard the news that she is among the 57 lucky win­ners of a raf­fle con­test by SM Store.

Mallari was more than happy to re­al­ize that she had just won shop­ping cred­its worth P100,000. Mallari, along with other win­ners were no­ti­fied by SM Store rep­re­sen­ta­tives as one of the lucky win­ners of the SM Store’s Shop Your Way to a P100,000 Shop­ping Spree with Mas­ter Card pro­mo­tion.

A joint project be­tween The SM Store and Master­card, ev­ery P3,000 sin­gle-re­ceipt pur­chase us­ing a Philip­pine-is­sued Master­card at the SM Store en­ti­tled the card owner to one elec­tronic raf­fle en­try that gave them a chance to win P100,000 shop­ping spree at any re­tail store.

Mallari said that she was sur­prised when she re­ceived the call and had to ver­ify if it was real. She said that she was happy for win­ning as it presents an op­por­tu­nity to start the New Year on the right direc­tion.

Mallari shopped for ap­pli­ances and other home items for her kids dur­ing her ini­tial shop­ping.

Mallari joined other 57 win­ners all over the coun­try who won in the said pro­mo­tion con­test. Other win­ners in­clude Jose­fina Sura from Pasig City (win­ner of the SM Store Mega­mall), MA. Carmela Dela Cruz from Parañaque (win­ner of the SM Store MOA) and Melody Sa­mu­dio from Lu­cena Que­zon (win­ner of the SM Store Aura) among oth­ers.

of­fi­cials which have been the sub­ject of crit­i­cisms in de­bates around the pen­sion hike is­sue. He clar­i­fied that the com­pen­sa­tion and performance-based bonus of SSS have been capped not only for SSS but across all GOCCs with the en­act­ment of the GOCC Gov­er­nance Act and Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der 24 in 2011.

“We will make sure that com­pen­sa­tion is performance-based. If all the tar­gets we have set have been ac­com­plished, then I think it is just fair to give in­cen­tives for good performance. This is, af­ter all, is a prac­tice in all gov­ern­ment of­fices and pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions,” said Dean Valdez.

“There are a lot of in­ter­ven­tions that we are al­ready do­ing to raise more funds for the SSS pen­sion fund,” said Dean Valdez.

(Press Re­lease)

— Chris Navarro

SM SHOP­PING SPREE. Maria Lour­des Fe Mallari of Unisite Sub­di­vi­sion in the City of San Fer­nando won a P100,000 shop­ping spree at SM City San Fer­nando Down­town in a promo of SM Store and Mas­ter Card.

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