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Rough Cuts: Now the SSS must release the second P1,000

Last Monday Philippine President Davaoeno Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law the Social Security System (SSS) Rationalization Act. This law authorizes the increase in the rate of security premiums to be collected from employees and employers from the present eleven percent of allowable salary credit to 12 percent starting this year until it reaches to 25 percent of salary credit by 2025.

The primary objective of the law is to ensure that the pension funds for employees of private corporations will remain viable until 2045.

It was however, not stated by the President of the SSS in his justification of the increase in premium as the reason why the SSS cannot as yet release the second P1,000 of the increase in the monthly pension of retirees. Earlier though, the SSS chief repeated quite often that by releasing the second P1,000 of the P2,000 monthly pension hike it will deplete the SSS funds in less than ten years.

Now that the monthly SSS premium is increased we hope that the pension agency will no longer find another reason for not releasing the second half of the P2,000 hike in retirees’ pension benefits.

But while we were listening to the explanation of SSS chief lawyer Emmanuel Duoc we could not help but entertain suspicion the agency is not considering the immediate release of the additional pension of P1,000. Duoc never mentioned even a single word about the release of the second one thousand pesos; not even a hint.

We believe really that with the implementation of the SSS Rationalization Law the funds needed for the release of the additional P1,000 will effectively be covered. So, it would be good for the SSS, and the government in general, if the pensioners will not be made to wait any longer. Extending their agony may cause wide-spread complaints not just among the retirees themselves but also from the employees and employers.

Let us not forget that the increase in the SSS premiums will be taken from the monthly pay of the workers even as the bigger portion of the premiums becomes addition to the corporate overhead.

Of course history will tell us that the SSS has always been hard and callous when it comes to giving benefits to agency members even if these are derived from the fruits of their own contribution. And there are indicators that the present SSS leadership is not likely to overturn its own record.

We, however, believe that a strong intervention by Malacanang will influence the course of things. Therefore, the P2000 increase in monthly pension which came into being with the onset of the Duterte administration, may finally be completed.

 

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In last Tuesday morning’s edition of the GMA News TV program hosted by top broadcast journalists Mike Enriquez and Joel Reyes Zobel, one political topic they talked about is the 2022 national elections.

This is in spite of the fact that the May 13, 2019 midterm polls have just started heating up. In other words, this early some groups are already preparing the ground works for the possible run of certain personalities. More specifically, these groups are building up the names of those who are likely interested to run for the highest position of the land — the Presidency.

During Enriquez’ and Zobel’s discussion of the issue the name of Presidential daughter and current Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was specifically mentioned. The anchor duo based their assumption of Sara’s presidential intention on her continuing presence in political activities in vote-rich areas of the country. She has also been pitching for the senatorial candidates of parties with coalition agreement with her regional group “Hugpong ng Pagbabago” in their first few campaign sorties.

All these seem to confirm rumors that indeed Inday Sara is really eyeing the Presidency in the near future.

Now we are bringing you back to the subject we had taken up in this column space on several occasions already. And we mean our projection that shortly before the May 13, 2019 mid-term elections Mayor Inday who’s running for reelection, and former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte who is gunning for congressman of Davao City’s first district, will switch candidacies. That is, Mayor Inday will become the candidate for Congress and Pulong takes over his sister’s place.

Of course they are sure winners. Both have no opponents in the race. And once Mayor Sara is up there in the House of Representatives she can be a shoo-in for the Speaker’s position. What with her skillfully built alliances with various national political forces!

When that happens she will be a national figure who can make herself being talked about depending on where she intends the publicity to bring her to, the Presidency most specifically.

That’s where the principle used in a billiards game between two experts play — skillful setting up and preparation.

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