By Ernie Reyes | InterAksyon
Senator and vice presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., on Thursday reminded President Aquino that the Social Security System (SSS) "is a private fund, not a milking cow for appointees who mismanage funds."
Speaking at the weekly Kapihan sa Senado, Marcos said Aquino should sack everyone he appointed to the SSS Board and Commission, and look for better people who can manage SSS.
"We have to remember that the SSS fund belongs to the workers, and it should really be managed better. The government should recognize that it is not the owner of those funds," Marcos said.
Marcos added that the reported more than P160 million in earnings of the top 34 executives of SSS should be looked into.
"It is highly irregular, P160 million a year for compensation, that's making SSS a milking cow instead of running it effectively and striving to optimize the investments to generate maximum returns for the interest of its members in terms of social benefits and for the pensioners. Instead, it is serving as a wellspring of political largesse for a favored few."
"We have to stop this, and find better managers who will actually run the fund better," he added.
Marcos also chided SSS management for its dismal 35% collection efficiency: "That should prompt the President Aquino to look for professional managers from the private sector – not political allies – to manage the fund better. They are claiming that a hike in the floor pension would ruin the fund's viability. It's not the pension hike that will ruin the fund. It's the low collection efficiency. Imagine, 35%. That is a very low number. It just shows a great deal of inefficiency on the part of the SSS management."
"And beyond that," Marcos added, "you can see that there is a lot to improve on, in terms of the investments they made to grow the fund. It's is not earning as much as it could."
Marcos pointed out that much of the problem now hounding the SSS lies with President Aquino "because he picked the wrong persons to manage the fund properly, but did so only for political purposes. That seems to be the problem of this government, they do not seem to pick the best; they end up with a lot of people who cannot do the job because they were appointed for political purposes not for management and efficiency. That is why we have this problem."
Meanwhile, Marcos refuted the claim of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the resolution expressing the sense of the Senate to override the vetoed SSS pension hike is nothing more than an expedient political move from the signatories.
"It all started with the measure aimed at lowering the income tax, then here is the SSS pension issue, both of which were vetoed or turned down by the Palace, which seems to be deaf and blind to what the people are asking for," Marcos underscored.
"It's the pensioners who have no income. They are at the mercy of fluctuating prices and the rising cost of living, at the most vulnerable time of their lives they get hit by the thumbs-down on social relief," he said further.