Can city officials support Senate’s move to override presidential Veto? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 11:07

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Through a City Council resolution, City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar should support the Senate’s move to override the presidential veto on the Law that grants SSS pensioners an across -the-board increase of P2,000 a month. This is one issue that the local government throughout the country can show the President that they also care about the welfare of their retired private employees in our city. Resolutions from local governments in the country supporting the move by some of our honorable senators to override the veto is the best service they can give to retired senior citizens while they are with us and before they bid farewell to a country they have supported loyally and served faithfully during the prime of their lives.

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The reason for the veto is allegedly it will drain the reserve funds of the Social Security System (SSS) if the increase will be approved. and that runs into billions of pesos and may “shortlive” the span of life of the SSS and leave other members hanging when they retire. It is hard to accept. There are more multi-billions of pesos approved by the government, benefiting only a few favored citizens, like the “Pantawid Program” (4Ps) and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which is subsidized by the government. Cannot the government also subsidize the difference that SSS cannot produce? This has been done in many increases by many government agencies, including the increases of salaries for officers of government corporations, officials of the Executive and Legislative Departments, which ironically should they incur savings from their yearly budgets after the fiscal year ends are budgeted for their huge bonuses while the budget for another round of a yearly increase is subsidized from the income of the coming year. Budgets of government agencies and departments undergo a yearly round of increases, sometimes fantastic increases and yet they are given an “elbow room” for government subsidy if their agency reserve is not adequate to fund their salary increases or retirement benefits. On the other hand government, agencies that have a monthly collections, like SSS, GSIS, government banks to name a few, are treated like an “enterprise” and are left to fend for themselves when budgetary problems occur. This is grossly unfair.

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The SSS pension increase could not have been a problem, if the national government has willingly assumed the difference through a subsidy and leave the SSS reserves untouched. The problem is, SSS officials and management already requested for their huge increase from those reserve funds and approved by the President and are now ashamed to request the President for a subsidy to fund the SSS pension increase. This is absurd and preposterous. SSS pensioners in the country believed that indeed the SSS pension plan and contributions are the “milking cow” of the government. Like in the past SSS reserves are used by the national government to fund and save other ailing government agencies going bankrupt, like allegedly the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) in the past that was a recipient of SSS funding. SSS management officers must adhere  and believe that “charity begins at home”.

SSS pensioners are retired and are not anymore the “goose that lay the golden egg” because they already exhausted their time in laying for the SSS “their golden egg”.

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Scoop: A resolution from local governments in the country is most needed now and local governments should not only adopt resolutions endorsing and supporting their favored national candidates, do not be a modern Roman Nero that while “Rome was burning he was wining and dancing”. SSS pensioners need help and don’t follow the idea of that stupid congressman who said that “SSS pensioners don’t need a pension increase, because some of them are rich”. This is not about status in life, this is about “equality under the eyes of the law”. If you are not aware of this, then you are really a “mediocre sonamagan”. You may disagree but that is how I can best describe you. Or better still, recommend for the abolition of the “Senior Citizen Law”, with your ideas, it means nothing.