May 26, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Workers lobby group the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa (TUCP-Nagkaisa) denounced as immoral, unjust and indecent the impending P500,000 per month salary increase which would amount to P800,000 monthly wage of Social Security System (SSS) President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio De Quiros in the light of the Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) in all government-owned and controlled corporations and government financial institutions.
Once the SSS-proposed CPCS is effective, around 1,000 SSS rank-and-file workers will not receive any salary increase.
The labor group is urging presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to order a halt in the implementation, a review and amendment of the provision on Compensation System which includes the provisions on basic, salaries, standard allowances and benefits, specific-purposes allowances and benefits and variable pay of Executive Order 203 issued by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on March 22, 2016 giving unconscionable ‘’midnight perks and benefits” to top executives of Social Security System (SSS).
Drafted by the Good Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG), the EO 203 was signed by Aquino and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa on March 22, 2016 “adopting a compensation and position classification system (CPCS) and a general index of occupational services (IOS) and for the GOCC sector covered by Republic Act No. 10149, and for other purposes.”
TUCP-Nagkaisa questioned the move amidst the Aquino veto on the proposed P2,000 pension increase for 2.4 million SSS pensioners on January 14, 2016, the silence even on the counter-proposed P1,000 or P500 pension increases, and in the SSS management rejection of the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave Bill for reason both proposals would affect the actuarial fund life of SSS.
This also came after workers are still reeling from the measly P10 wage increase granted last week by the National Capital Region-Regional Wages and Productivity Board (NCR-RWPB) despite of the P154 the TUCP-Nagkaisa petition last month.
Citing adverse effect on SSS funds, President Aquino vetoed the proposed bill allowing for a P2,000 monthly pension increase while SSS top management turned down Expanded Maternity Leave measure that extends maternity leave for private sector women employees from 60 to 78 days to 100 days.
“We are urging President Duterte to issue a cease and desist order to Executive Order 203 that allows excessive increases in salaries and benefits of top SSS executives on top of what they are currently receiving now. This is obviously a ‘pabaon’ or ‘midnight perks’ for Aquino wards and loyalists at the expense of workers’ and employers’ blood money. We strongly oppose this because this is immoral, unjust and indecent,” said Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson of TUCP.
Tanjusay said the TUCP received an information that SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio De Quiros and Chairman Juan Santos are allegedly pushing for the immediate approval of the SSS proposed CPCS salary increases before the new Duterte administration assumes office in June.
He said if this is approved and retroactively put into effect, De Quiros and the next holder of PCEO title stands to get an additional almost P500,000 pesos in monthly salary ending up with almost P800,000 monthly salary. This does not include all the monetary and non-monetary benefits provided for by EO 203, current SSS benefits, and what he gets from the SS Commission sitting as Vice Chair and what he gets from corporations where he represents SSS shares.
“In behalf of millions of SSS paying members and pensioners, the Associated Labor Unions (ALU) denounces and does not condone these highly questionable acts by top government officials,” said Gerard Seno, National Executive Vice President of ALU, an affiliate of TUCP-Nagkaisa.