DAVAO CITY – The proponent of the house bill, which seeks to increase the pension received by members of the Social Security System (SSS) by P2,000, will push for the override of the veto of President Benigno Aquino III.
On Thursday, Pres. Aquino vetoed the bill saying the increase would shorten the life of the SSS, which at present has 31 million members.
But Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the increase “is not only justified, but feasible.”
Colmenares said they believe the main reason for the veto is because the President does not want to allocate funds for SSS.
“The SSS fund life argument has been raised many times during the hearings and we have studied their arguments including their report that they will have a deficit of P4 billion if the pension is increased by P2,000. We have maintained in these hearings that the SSS should increase collection and eliminate unnecessary expenses, but if these are still insufficient to cover this, then government should allocate funds to cover the deficit as required by Sec 20-21 of RA 8282. P4 Billion is peanuts in a P3 Trillion budget. Apparently Pres. Aquino disagreed with our proposal,” said Colmenares.
“What we find insensitive in the position of Malacañang and SSS is that their first resort is contribution increase instead of SSS reforms and government subsidy,” he said.
“While other countries in Asia subsidize their pension, such as the 10% subsidy by Vietnam, the Philippine government’s subsidy in the pension fund has been zero in the last 20 years. The 2016 budget is P3 trillion, but government cannot even allocate the P4 billin deficit, or even the bloated P16 billion deficit, which Pres. Aquino cited in his veto message,” he added.
“They just do not want to give pension increase,” he said.
Colmenares also reiterated his position that Congress should vote for an override.
“I ask our colleagues to stand by the bill we have passed. We have conducted hearings on this bill since 2011 when it was filed and considered all the actuarial studies presented by SSS. I hope we have at least 194 colleagues who would side with the people on this issue,” he said. (davaotoday.com)