By KING CRIS PULMANO
BAGUIO CITY – Youth group Anakbayan Cordillera slams the proposal from the Social Security System (SSS) to approve the bonuses for their high ranking officials despite their vocal objection to the vetoed P2000 pension hike bill.
Luke Bagangan, secretary general of the group, calls the proposal absurd and unjustifiable as SSS claimed that a meager increase in pension will result to insolvency yet they are pushing for luxurious bonuses.
It can be noted earlier that SSS claimed that the said pension increase will lead to its bankruptcy by 2029.
“The problem with SSS is that their high ranking officials treat the government owned and controlled corporation or GOCC as a lucrative milking cow. If it is for the people, there is no budget. But if it is for their executives, the government has the money,” said Bagangan.
Furthermore, the group refuted the claim of Emilio de Quiros Jr., President/CEO of SSS, that their performances deserve bonuses.
“If bonuses are performance-based, why ask for it if there is no desirable performance to talk of in the first place,” said Bagangan.
Bagangan cited that the while the SSS president boasts of improved collection efficiency or the percentage of paying members out of its total membership, this is still low at only 38% to 45%.
The group links the said low collection efficiency to the failure of the management in collecting workers’ contribution from delinquent payers, especially big corporate employers.
Moreover, SSS’ operational expenses is also far higher than most countries as claimed by the group.
“Because of better management, the operational cost of security system in Malaysia and Singapore, for example, are pegged at only 2% and 0.5% of the people’s contribution respectively. However, SSS has an operational cost of 6.7% to 9.78% yet they call this good performance,” added Bagangan.
The commission on Audit earlier released a report for 2014 that salaries and bonuses worth P116.8 million were paid to high ranking officials of SSS consisting of a president/CEO, two executive presidents, seven senior vice presidents, 16 vice presidents, and eight members of the board of directors.
Such reports also reveal that aside from the salaries and bonuses worth millions for each top officials, a P40,000 honorarium is given by the government for each board meetings attended by the executives.
“Because of the ties of the executives to Aquino and Roxas, asking for bonuses is a piece of cake for them,” said Bagangan.
The youth leader pointed that five out of nine members of the board of directors have strong links to the administration’s presidential bet Mar Roxas. Eliza Bettina Antonino, one board of director member who received almost 6 million in salaries and bonuses was the chief of staff of Roxas when he was senator and trade secretary.
“This only shows how patronage politics works in this administration. People have always been neglected just for the sake of government officials and their cronies,” said Bagangan. # nordis.net