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Militant solon lauds Pres. Duterte's approval of SSS pension hike

MANILA, Jan. 11 (PNA) -- A militant lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Wednesday commended President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the PHP1,000 increase in the monthly pension of all pensioners under the Social Security System (SSS).

In a statement, Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao also applauded President Duterte for morally heeding the calls of SSS pensioners, their families and all those who supported to assert the increase on their monthly pension.

“It’s a combination of militant assertion and collective actions of both the pensioners and their supporters that compelled the president to take side with the people,” Casilao said.

Malacañang announced on Tuesday that the President has approved a PHP1,000 increase for SSS pensioners starting this month along with a 1.5 percent increase in SSS contributions to be implemented starting May 2017 and an increase in monthly salary credit to PHP20,000 from PHP16,000.

Casilao expressed gratitude for the increase but said that the fight will continue until the second tranche of PHP1,000 will be given to the pensioners.

The progressive solon also urged SSS members to demand significant reforms in the institution such as improving its collection rate and coverage, getting rid of huge salaries and bonuses of executives and risky investments in the private sector.

These reforms are meant to counteract the planned 1.5-percent increase on the members’ monthly contributions, Casilaod said.

In December 2015, the delinquency in premium contributions and penalties of employers pegged up to PHP4.845 billion in the National Capital Region.

Also in the same year, the Commission on Audit upheld its decision ordering SSS to return the PHP71 million worth of illegal bonuses.

"The potential and significant losses are due to how the institution is managed, but the burden is being passed on its members, hence, we urge the people to be vigilant and to intensify mass actions pressing reforms beneficial to SSS members," Casilao said. (PNA)

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