By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte urged the Social Security System (SSS) to strictly monitor employers if they are paying the contributions of their workers properly.
Speaking at the 60th anniversary celebration of the SSS, Duterte also lauded the SSS for safeguarding the people’s hard-earned keep.
“For six decades, the SSS has efficiently safeguarded and nurtured our people’s hard-earned contributions to the Social Security Fund so that we can secure the future for each member,” Duterte said.
“I urge you to intensify the monitoring of the employers and ensure that they have registered and that they pay their dues contributions,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte also said that SSS officials have the ability to directly affect the lives of the Filipinos because of their position.
“The SSS management and personnel, you are in a unique position to directly impact the lives of our people through the services you provide,” he said.
“Through the work that you do everyday, you manage and maintain a sound and viable Social Security System, which shall provide social justice and promote meaningful protection for members and their families against disability, sickness, maternity, old age, death and other contingencies resulting in the loss of income and financial burden,” he added.
The President congratulated the SSS for its 60-year milestone and invited the agency to join the government in building the foundation of a better future for the citizenry.
“May this occasion remind us that our workforce is the backbone of our society and their welfare is our primary concern,” Duterte said.
“Let us work together in empowering them so that they may help us in building the foundations of a brighter and more secure future, especially for the marginalized,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte revealed why he was initially undecided to approve the proposal to increase the pension hike proposed by the Congress earlier this year. He said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Ben Diokno, and National Economic and Development Association (NEDA) chief Ernesto Pernia were against it.
“That’s the most contentious moment in the Cabinet regarding SSS, when we were debating whether or not to allow the increase. At the end of the day, ki-nut (cut) ko sila lahat (I had to cut them all) because we were already arguing for two hours,” Duterte said.
In January, 2017, Duterte approved a P1,000-increase in the SSS pension this year, half of the increase proposed by the Congress.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella earlier announced that the approved increase comes with a corresponding 1.5-percent contribution rate hike in May, 2017, and an “increase in monthly salary credit to P20,000 from P16,000.”
The initial P1,000-pension hike was implemented last January, 2017 while the last P1,000-pension hike will be implemented on 2022 or even earlier, Abella had said.