By Angie Rosales | The Daily Tribune
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. yesterday came to the defend his colleague, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, amid charges of politicking for coming up with a resolution expressing the sense of the upper chamber in the vetoed bill increasing the pension of Social Security System (SSS) members
Marcos ditched Senate President Franklin Drilon’s claims that it’s aimed at “isolating” President Aquino.
“I disagree. It is an attempt to help people,” the senator said, adding that charges against the administration on being indifferent to the needs of the people could tossed back to the Executive when it first turned down calls for an income tax cuts and now on the proposed P2,000 across-the-board increase in pension of retired SSS members.
“This is constant ongoing between the citizens-taxpayers and the government. The government always wants taxpayers to pay more, taxpayers want to pay less.
“This is a ongoing back and forth between the two sectors,” Marcos said at a news forum at the Senate.
While he would not directly cast blame on Aquino, the senator refused to be swayed by the claims made by SSS executives on their claims that it will shorten the life span of the agency, saying that the low collection rate and bad investment placements are indicative of mismanagement.
“I don’t think they’re doing a good job. I think that’s what I am saying and I’m saying we must replace them with people who are better at managing the fund,” Marcos said.
“We have to blame them for being incompetent and for not doing their job properly. But of course some responsibility lies with the President, why did you pick people who cannot seem to do the job?” he said.
He said new SSS fund managers should be chosen not on the basis of political affiliation, but solely on competence.
Marcos also bared that he has signed a proposed Senate resolution, expressing the sense of the Upper Chamber that the P2,000 increase in the pension of SSS retirees should be given and that the President’s veto of the bill granting such pension hike is unfortunate.
Marcos also brushed aside allegations that lawmakers pushing for the SSS pension hike are using the issue to score political points, particularly because of the coming elections this year.
In the meantime, Marcos believes it is best for the Executive and the Legislative to get together and try to forge a win-win solution for SSS members, particularly those who rely mostly on their pension for their daily expenses.