By Associated Labor Unions
January 10, 2017
QUEZON CITY – Labor group Associated Labor Unions (ALU) lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the other day a one thousand peso increase of pension for 2.3 million pensioners of Social Security System (SSS).
“We thank President Duterte for listening to the needs of pensioners. We welcome this as it is an answer to the promise he made to pensioners during the campaign. It will help pensioners to cope with some but not all of the burdens caused by rising prices of basic commodities and cost of services,” ALU spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said.
However, the ALU argued that the government should have fixed the system first and institute reforms within SSS before requiring new contributions from 14 million paying members out of the 34 million registered members.
Tanjusay said they urge SSS management to institute reforms within the system by trimming down excessive bonuses and introduce reasonable perks to all its top executives, improve its collection efficiency by pinning down non-remitting employers, stop corruption within and act on 7,000 delinquent employers now pending in the courts.
“There would be significant improvement in the life fund of SSS if these reforms are enforced. Resorting to quick fix and the path of least resistance raises doubts about ability of SSS commissioners ability to trim corporate fat. We suggest that President Duterte to direct the SSS open their books and consult with workers since its workers money that the SSS is doing placements on,” Tanjusay said.
He said the workers’ daily wage purchasing power is reduced by at least 30% in the face of prices of basic commodities and cost of services. There are also impending bigtime increases in the cost of electricity and water utilities.