January 21, 2016

Kas maysa nga agbaybayad iti kontribusyon iti SSS ken asidegen nga agbalin a pensioner, nainkalintegan laeng a pirmaan ni Presidente Aquino ti linteg tapno maingato iti P2, 000 ti binulan a gatad a maaw-awat. Bassit laeng daytoy a gatad ngem dakkel ti maitulong na kadagiti pensioners karkaro kadagiti senior citizens. (As an SSS individual paying member and at the same time an incoming pensioner, it is but justified that President Aquino should the bill to increase the monthly pension by P2, 000. This is small amount but it is a big help to pensioners especially for the senior citizens.) – Joan Ngayaan, SSS individual paying member

 The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) supports the call for Congress to override BS Aquino’s veto on HB 5842 which provides for a P2, 000-hike in the monthly pension for Social Security System (SSS) pensioners. BS Aquino’s veto is again a clear manifestation of his anti-poor policy and reflects the poor state of social security. This calls for strong condemnation not only from SSS members but also from the general public.

But what makes it more infuriating is on how BS Aquino and top rank officials of the SSS defend the veto. While they try to fool the people on their lame explanations, these SSS officials are actually pocketing millions of pesos from the contributions of members. If SSS will go bankrupt as the officials fear, it is not because of the P2, 000-increase for pensioners but with their outrageous salaries, benefits and the low efficiency of the SSS to collect contributions from employers.

Social security such as pensions is a State obligation. Assuming that SSS cannot shoulder the P2, 000-penshion hike, the government should include social pensions on the national budget and not again as an additional add-on burden for the members. If the government can give dole out support like Conditional Cash Transfer which is actually a loan from the Asian Development Bank, it should be able to remedy the needs of SSS pensioners.

BS Aquino and the top rank SSS officials should know that most of the pensioners are in their senior years and an amount of P2, 000 is a big help to buy their medicines and other basic needs. Only a heartless and no-conscience president can do this. When Aquino immediately approved to increase the salaries of president, vice president and the legislators by P200, 000; P150, 000; P100, 000; did he not think the national coffers might go bankrupt?

CPA believes that it is but proper for the government to recognize the needs of pensioners. After all, these pensioners worked hard and patiently paid their contributions to prepare for their retirement.

Lastly, CPA calls on SSS members and advocates to sign petitions, conduct lobby work in congress, join and organized protest actions to expose anomalies at the SSS and put pressure on congress to override Aquino’s veto. We urge our Cordillera Congressmen to support our SSS pensioners and join the current move in congress to override BS Aquino’s veto on HB 5842. ***

 

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