Aquino, a ‘heartless liar’ in SSS pension hike veto – KMU

One day after Pres. Noynoy Aquino vetoed a bill seeking a P2,000 across-the-board pension hike for Social Security System pensioners, workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno and other sectors of society marched to Mendiola to condemn the chief executive and continue to press for the demand.

The labor group, which pelted an image of Aquino and SSS president and CEO with eggs and rotten tomatoes, called the president and “heartless” for vetoing House Bill 5842 filed by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares and a “liar” for claiming that the SSS cannot fund the pension hike.

“Pensioners, their families, the Filipino workers and people are angry over Aquino’s heartless veto of the SSS pension hike. Everyone who pushed for this measure and wanted it to be passed are indignant that he simply vetoed this form of immediate relief,” said Roger Soluta, KMU vice-chairperson.

The labor leader cited the study of independent labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research saying the P56 billion annual total of the pension hike can be shouldered by the SSS, given the latter’s P160-billion annual revenue and P428-billion reserved investment funds.

“Aquino is trying to deceive the public by invoking numbers that try to show that the SSS would be rendered bankrupt by the pension hike. The truth is that the SSS has funds for the hike and that it can and must take various measures to increase its fund life,” Soluta added.

He said that the SSS should improve its collection efficiency which currently stands at 40 percent, penalize delinquent employers by filing charges against them, do away with the salaries and bonuses of its top officials amounting to millions, and reduce its overhead costs.

“We are calling on all SSS pensioners, their families, all workers and Filipinos, to make our clamor louder. Let us continue to speak up on social media, use pensioners and senior citizens’ activities to voice out our demands, and join protests and other activities for our demand,” Soluta stated.

Soluta called on the public to join another march to Mendiola on January 18, Monday, which will assemble at the intersection of Recto and Avenida avenues in Manila starting at 9:00 in the morning.