Press Release
October 24, 2016


Senator Richard J. Gordon has challenged officials of the Social Security System (SSS) to justify the high salaries they get by devising ways to improve the retirement benefits of the 33 million members of the state pension fund.

Gordon issued the challenge during a hearing that the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises conducted jointly with the Committees on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development; Health and Demography; and Finance.

A proposal mandating a P2,000 across-the-board hike in the monthly pension of SSS retirees was also approved by the joint panel.

"Pero kung kayo, nagbo-board meeting kayo diyan, sisingilin ko kayo ngayon. P5 million ang budget ninyo a year ba iyon, or around P450,000 a month sa suweldo lang? Dapat naman siguro puwede kayong makaisip kung papaano ninyo magagawang efficient ang collection, ma-e-expand ninyo yung market base ninyo, para ang kapalit sa tao mas mataas. When you pay somebody well, you expect value for money. We do not mind paying somebody a high salary kung babalik siya na mas mataas ang ibabalik sa tao na pension dahil nag-iisip sila sa board. Hindi lamang yung ba-boundary lang sila, ngunit gagawa ng paraan para ma-increase ang benepisyo ng tao," the Chairman of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises said.

On the SSS' concern that it would have a shorter lifetime if the monthly pension of retirees would be increased, Gordon pointed out that the SSS should be much more aggressive in getting more members and invest funds wisely to increase its resources.

"We cannot act on fear, we have to be a more aggressive. I will ask questions later on, on how we can be a more aggressive so we can have more members, so we can invest the funds in worthwhile endeavors so you can get resources and so that our people will deserve more than a paltry amount when they retire or when they die. I think this is one of the legacies that any country of significance should be aiming for. Dapat kung magpapaipon tayo ng tao in the nature of forced savings, dapat mayroong magandang kapalit. It should be transformational because what I think here is that we're just transactional," he stressed.

Gordon said he hopes to sponsor the bill next month and a bicameral conference conducted soon so that the bill could be signed into law before Christmas. Congress has taken a two-week break to resume on November 7.

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