Solon to SSS: Fund pension hike instead of investing in 'Maharlika'

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2022 07:28 PM


MANILA - House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro on Thursday urged the Social Security System (SSS) to pay the additional P1,000 pension instead of dabbling in the Maharlika Wealth Fund.

Castro told the weekly Makabayan Bloc press conference that a joint resolution which the bloc authored to this effect has been approved in principle by the Committee on Government Enterprises.
 
“Sa Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization, in principle naman ay approved na ito kasama nung bill ni Congressman Go kaugnay naman din sa the same purpose. In principle, approved na ito at kailangan na talaga ibigay ng SSS ang kanilang obligasyon sa pensyon at hindi na dapat sila nakisawsaw sa Maharlika na ito," Castro said.

She recalled that an additional P2,000 SSS pension was approved during the time of President Rodrigo Duterte, but only P1,000 was given.

Castro pointed out that if the SSS had collected premiums better, it would be better positioned to pay the additional pension.

“Yung kanilang inefficiency sa collection ay talagang problematic. Yung kanilang mga pinasok before na mga investment ay nagkaroon rin ng iba pang mga problema na kung tutuusin, kung talagang efficient lang ang SSS, kayang mabayaran itong additional o itong utang ng gobyerno o SSS sa mga ating mga pensioner na additional P1,000,“ Castro said.

Meantime, the lawmaker also batted for House Bill 6560 which increases the minimum monthly salary in government to P33,000.

“Kahapon po, sinamahan tayo ng ating mga government employees at mula sa ating mga private workers para i-file itong House Bill 6560. Basically, gusto natin sa bill na ito na yung salary grade 1 ay maging P33,000, na ibig sabihin nito, nakabatay ito sa family living wage,“ Castro said.

She cited the worsening inflation in seeking the salary increase.

“Maging ang mga government employees ay hirap na hirap nang pagkasyahin ang kanilang mga sweldo kasi sa ngayon ang salary grade 1 ay nasa mga P13,000 lang iyan. Hindi pa nga ito tumuntong sa minimum wage na halimbawa dito sa National Capital Region na P570,“ Castro said.

“Kaya napapanahon, nararapat at reasonable na talagang ito ang asikasuhin ng ating Kongreso, itong pagtataas ng sweldo ng ating government employees. Kasabay na rin diyaan ang pagtataas ng sweldo ng ating mga private sector,“ she added.

In a related development, Kabataan Partylist welcomes the adoption by the House Committee on Social Services of its House Joint Resolution 10 to hike the funding for the Educational Assistance Program - Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) to P5.3 billion and increase five-fold the number of beneficiaries from nearly 500,000 to 2.5 million.

“We take this as a recognition by the House of Representatives of the students’ call for immediate educational aid, and we challenge the House to take further steps to address this call. We also urge the Senate to adopt a counterpart measure at the soonest time possible,” Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel said in the same press conference.

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