KMU to Aquino: sign SSS pension hike bill now!

After House Speaker Sonny Belmonte forwarded the bill seeking a P2,000 across-the-board pension hike for Social Security System retirees to the Office of the President, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called on Pres. Noynoy Aquino today to immediately sign the bill.

The labor group said the pension hike would make SSS pensioners’ Christmas a little merrier, because the measure is long overdue and is badly needed by SSS pensioners who want to buy more food and comply more with their medication.

Dapat matagal na itong inaprubahan, pero inabot na ng Pasko (This should have been approved a long time ago but has even reached Christmastime). Aquino should lessen being the Christmas Grinch and immediately sign this bill into law,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader said it’s high time that House Bill 5842 filed by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares is signed into law and somehow remedy the embarrassingly low SSS pensions which have not been altered since 1997.

“Aquino would surely earn the ire of SSS pensioners, of workers and of the public if he simply allows 30 days to pass so that the bill will be considered approved. We will all consider it an outrage if he vetoes the bill outright for whatever reason,” Labog added.

KMU said Aquino has no reason to veto the bill because the SSS and the government have the funds to finance the pension hike and do not need to impose another round of premium hike before increasing pensions.

“The SSS has the funds for the pension hike. It will have more than enough funds if it improves its collection efficiency, goes after employers who refuse to remit workers’ contributions, reduces huge bonuses to board members, and reduces administrative costs,” Labog said.

KMU is calling on all SSS pensioners, all workers, and the public to maximize Facebook and all forms of social media to speak up for the pension hike until pensioners actually receive the increase.