A congressman on Monday called on the Social Security System to release the second tranche of the pension increase ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office in 2016.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate made the call after the SSS reported earnings of more than P400 billion.
“I hope the SSS will release the additional P1,000 because our seniors are in dire need of that money,” Zarate, a deputy minority leader, said.
He asked the SSS to ensure its financial stability to maintain its pension increases without increasing the members’ premium contributions and to go after delinquent employers who do not remit the contributions of their members and their counterpart contributions.
He said he had received many complaints from many workers that their contributions were not being remitted by their employers.
“It’s time the SSS started filing criminal and civil complaints against erring employers,” Zarate said.
President Duterte ordered the SSS to grant a P2,000 across-the-board increase to all SSS pensioners when he assumed office.
However, the increase was split into two tranches after the state-run pension fund claimed its funds might be threatened if it released the P2,000 increase at the time.
Bayan Muna said that last October, an Australia-backed study said the Philippines had one of the worst pension systems for retirees compared to the rest of the world.
“Giving the P1,000 pension increase in January 2020 is in fact long overdue because the subhuman level of the basic SSS pension had been aggravated since the implementation of the TRAIN law,” the group said.
Zarate’s group earlier filed House Joint Resolution 1 for the second tranche of the Social Security System pension hike that would add P1,000 to the lowest level of the pension given by the SSS, but it still had to be heard and implemented.