Aquino denies SSS pensioners increase of monthly take, rejects proposed law

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President Benigno Aquino. Malacanang Photo
President Benigno Aquino. Malacanang Photo

By Joey Natividad

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, 14Jan2016 (BicolToday.com) – President Aquino vetoed Tuesday the SSS pension hike bill that was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, directly denying SSS pensioners of the proposed P2,000 across-the-board increase on their monthly pension, online news BicolToday.com learned Thursday.

In a related move, Makabayan bloc lawmakers denounced the President’s use of veto power effectively denying SSS pensioners any hope for increase of monthly pension, and vowed that the President’s veto can be over-ruled by two-thirds vote by the members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

About 2 million SSS pensioners and their dependents are denied by Aquino’s decision to fill up their ”hunger gap”. (See related link:  Bayan Muna Reps. Colmenares, Zarate urge PNoy: Sign now into law SSS pension increase – See more at: http://bicoltoday.com/2016/01/12/bayan-muna-reps-colmenares-zarate-urge-pnoy-sign-now-into-law-sss-pension-increase/#sthash.heRlGBwL.dpuf )

The President has refused to sign the proposed law implementing a P2,000 across-the-board increase in the SSS monthly pension, a Palace official confirmed Thursday.

“In his message, President Aquino said the stability of the entire SSS benefit system, whose present membership comprises about 31 million individuals, will be seriously compromised in favor of two million pensioners and their dependents,” Communications Secretary Hermino Coloma, Jr. said in a statement released to the media Thursday.

SSS President and CEO Emilio de Quiros Jr. earlier said that the pension fund for private sector employees will have to increase the monthly contributions of its members from 11 percent to 15 percent should House Bill 5842 be promulgated.

He said a P2,000 raise in SSS pensions will shorten the actuarial life of the pension fund unless the monthly contributions are likewise increased.

In reaction, Makabayan senatorial bet Neri Colmenares, principal author of the SSS pension hike denounced the rejection of the proposed law  by Aquino.

“Walang puso ba talaga si Pres.Aquino? (Does Aquino has compassion?)”, Colmenares asked, informing BicolToday.com.

Colmenares said: “This is patently anti-pensioner, anti-poor and anti-worker! The 2 thousand-peso hike is very reasonable and is badly needed by pensioners and their dependents. I am now calling on the House of Representatives and the Senate to side with the people and override the Aquino veto.”

Colmenares said the “projection of bankruptcy” by SSS in case the bill becomes law is only a “mathematical projection”, a common practice in “actuarial financial planning” used by other countries, but there are many measures to address the problem.

“By increasing employment and expanding the workers base, their contributions will add to the SSS pension fund even if there is increase of pension,” Colmenares said. [BicolToday.com]

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