SSS veto naysayers belittled by workers

Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, together with other progressive organizations, picketed the House of Representatives this morning to call on lawmakers to override Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s veto of the P2,000 hike in Social Security System pensions.

The labor group claimed that statements like those of House Speaker Sonny Belmonte’s, who said that the override is “unlikely,” are only further fanning the flames of anger of SSS pensioners, senior citizens, their families, workers and all Filipinos.

“We condemn those who say that the veto override is not possible. Contrary to their intention, they are inciting Filipinos to make the clamor for a P2,000 across-the-board pension hike even louder,” said Roger Soluta, KMU vice-chairperson.

The labor leader called on SSS pensioners, senior citizens, their families, workers and all Filipinos to join upcoming protests aimed at displaying the broad clamor for the demand.

“If all Filipinos who favor the pension hike would only speak out, unite, and act, nothing is impossible. Aquino and his naysayers want the clamor to stop, but the fight is just starting for many Filipinos,” Soluta added.

KMU, the Action against Contractualization and Towards a Significant Wage Increase Now! (ACT2WIN!), the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, and senior citizen groups are calling on Filipinos to join a January 30 protest in Quezon City Memorial Circle.

A nationwide protest in front of SSS offices is also being planned on January 28 to show widespread disgust over SSS executives’ defense of the veto despite the millions of pesos that they pocketed in salaries and bonuses.

“We are calling on all SSS pensioners, senior citizens, their families, workers and Filipinnos to join the said protests. Now is the time to be heard. Let us intensify the fight until we get our legitimate demand,” Soluta stated.

KMU is also leading a “Zero Vote” campaign against presidentiable Mar Roxas, vice-presidentiable Leni Robredo, senatoriable and PhilHealth director Risa Hontiveros, and partylist Akbayan, a member of the Daang Matuwid coalition.