Two administration lawmakers on Monday supported calls for Congress to investigate the decision of the Social Security System and PhilHealth to increase their premium contributions.
They said the probe is a necessary exercise of Congress’ oversight powers on issues that concern public interest and national welfare.
Congressmen Karlo Alexei Nograles of Davao City and Jerry Trenas of Iloilo said that while they support the position of Malacanang that the SSS and PhilHealth premium hikes are necessary to improve the services that they provide, it is still equally important for both institutions to answer in detail all questions that are being raised by those who are opposed to their decision.
Nograles noted that with the triple whammy of calamities that was experienced by the country during the last quarter of 2013“this might not be the right time to increase SSS and PhilHealth premiums,” referring to the massive loss of lives and properties during the Zamboanga siege, the Central Visayas Earthquake and supertyphoon Yolanda.
He said that while a 0.6 percent increase on the monthly contribution of their members might be “affordable” to some, this amount could already buy several cans of sardines and packs of noodles for some families, particularly those who are only getting the minimum wage and other members who can barely afford their monthly premiums.
For his part, Trenas said it is imperative for Congress to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the decision of SSS and PhilHealth so that the public will be fully enlightened on their action.
“The investigation would be a perfect venue for the SSS and PhilHealth officials to be able to answer all the questions that our people have on this issue and at the same time, enlighten us on some of the intrigues thrown to them, including their allegedly scandalous paychecks and other perks,” Trenas said.
But he said he supported all moves to improve the benefits of our SSS and PhilHealth members.
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