An open letter to SSS Chairman and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III
I am a retired journalist and member of the Social Security System.
I write on behalf of the 2.5 million SSS pensioners who have been inadvertently left out of any and all contingency programs of government to help highly vulnerable sectors facing the raging COVID-19 crisis.
As Chairman of the SSS Board and Secretary of Finance, you must be well aware of the fact that SSS pensioners receive measly monthly pensions, many of whom getting much less than beneficiaries of the government subsidized 4Ps program. This is sad because we earned our pensions with our own blood, sweat and tears in helping keep the national economy move forward during our prime years.
On government orders to stay home, we have been denied the right to add additional pesos to our meager pensions to spend for our most basic of needs and buy our maintenance medicines. Under these circumstances, we face stark danger of keeping body and soul together.
In this light, may I humbly present the following suggestions for the big bosses of SSS to help retirees survive the present crisis:
Defer the payment of April 2020 amortization of all pension loans deducted from monthly pensions of SSS retirees.
Advance as soon as possible the downloading of one half of the 13th month pensions of retirees; and
Immediately act on the postponed granting of the second tranche of P1,000 a month across the board pension adjustments promised for this year when the first tranche was given at the start of the Duterte administration.
We are not asking for dole, Mr. Secretary. We only seek compassion and social justice from the Social Security System to elderly members.
ABRAHAM “ABE” P. BELENA
Calomboyan, San Quintin, Pangasinan