‘P10-M bonus, isoli!’
Workers picket SSS

 

Quezon City

 

October 10,  2013

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Photos courtesy of Buhay Manggagawa
           
     
     
     

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Media Release
10 Oct. 2013

Workers picket SSS, assert return of execs’ bonus

Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno picketed the main office of the Social Security System along East Avenue in Quezon City this morning to demand the immediate return of the P10-million bonus pocketed by the agency’s executives to the members’ fund, saying there’s absolutely no reason for the bonuses.

KMU said workers who are SSS members are suffering from low wages, contractual employment and violations of trade-union rights while other SSS members suffer from precarious livelihood and earnings, on top of the meager and delayed benefits that the agency provides.

“The executives of the SSS should immediately return their 2012 bonuses to the members’ fund. As long as SSS members suffer from worsening hunger and poverty, there will never be a reason for them to pocket huge bonuses from the members’ fund,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

To show the public their call, the workers raised placards each containing a letter of the call “P10M Bonus, Isoli!” and burned images of SSS president and CEO Emilio de Quiros and Pres. Noynoy Aquino.

“We are revolted that SSS executives have the gall to take such huge bonuses at a time when they just approved a 0.6 per cent increase in members’ premium contributions. They are clearly intoxicated with greed and have no concern for SSS members who work hard in order to remit contributions to the agency,” Labog said.

The workers also condemned the SSS executives’ per diem of P40,000 per board meeting and P20,000 per committee meeting. A maximum of two board meetings and two committee meetings are held each month.

Criticizing De Quiros’ excuse that the bonuses are rewards for the agency’s improved performance, KMU cited the Commission on Audit’s 2012 audit report, which criticized the SSS for its failure to immediately release members’ benefits and to take legal action against employers who failed to remit their employees’ contributions.

“From the perspective of SSS members, the agency does not have a good performance to brag about. In the first place, members receive meager benefits and undergo snail-paced processes to get these,” Labog said.

KMU also said that an increase in the SSS fund does not by itself constitute improved performance as it does not immediately translate into better benefits for members because the SSS leadership can allocate the funds for other purposes.

The labor center cited independent think-tank Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research’s study which shows that the SSS’s P350 billion investment reserve fund can be allocated to big capitalists’ business ventures, while 20 per cent or P70 billion of the said fund is invested in equities in the stock market.

“If De Quiros and SSS executive board want to get bigger compensation, they should resign and go to the private sector where they belong. Officials of GOCCs, especially the SSS, should be motivated by the spirit of public service, not of greed,” Labog said.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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Media Release
09 Oct. 2013

Excuses for SSS execs’ P10 M bonus unacceptable – KMU

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the justifications being made by the leadership of the Social Security System for the more than P10 million bonus pocketed by the agency’s executives in 2012, calling these “mere excuses” and “unacceptable.”

“The main thing here is that SSS executives are handling workers’ money – money that’s paid for by workers’ sweat, tears and blood. As long as SSS members suffer from meager wages, contractual employment, violation of rights, and delayed and meager benefits, the agency’s executives do not have any right to amass huge sums from the workers’ money,” said Jerome Adonis, SSS campaigns officer of KMU.

KMU added that as far as SSS members are concerned, the agency did not perform well in 2012, citing the Commission on Audit’s 2012 audit report which states that “Slow processing and payment of death, disability and retirement claims did not meet the commitment of SSS of providing prompt, convenient and meaningful social protection service to the members and their beneficiaries.”

The labor center said the SSS leadership cannot brag about increasing the workers’ fund when it delays the release of workers’ benefits and penny-pinches on the amount of these benefits.

KMU also cited the SSS’s failure, presented in the said COA report, to take legal steps in order to collect P367 million in unpaid premiums from employers, including 139 delinquent large-account employers.

“It’s very difficult for workers to believe that SSS executives are doing their job well when benefits, meager as they already are, are being released late. Good performance in this case must be measured by improvements in members’ condition, not in mere increases in the workers’ fund which the SSS leadership can use in ways that won’t benefit members,” Adonis said.

The labor center condemned SSS president and CEO Emilio de Quiros for saying that the granting of the bonuses is moral on the basis that the agency needs to maintain people who can opt to work in the private sector.

“If De Quiros and other executives of the SSS want salaries comparable to that given to their counterparts in the private sector, then they should resign immediately and go to the private sector. Government officials, especially SSS officials, should be driven by the spirit of public service, not greed,” the labor leader said.

KMU said the imposition of a 0.6 per cent increase in members’ premium contributions also point to the bad performance of the SSS executives as members pay their premiums dutifully and there’s no reason for the fund to go bankrupt.

It said the SSS may be increasing members’ premium contributions to increase funds that it will contribute to the government’s Public-Private Partnership program’s funds which go to big capitalists’ investments.

The labor center cited independent think-tank Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research’s study that shows that the SSS has a P350 billion investment reserve fund as of 2012 which the agency uses as equity investments in the business ventures of the biggest capitalists in the country.

Reference: Jerome Adonis, SSS campaigns officer of KMU, 0999-4499794

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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Media Release
07 Oct. 2013

SSS execs’ P10M bonus disgusting – KMU

Utterly disgusting.

This was how national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno described the more than P1 million bonus received by each of the eight board members of the Social Security System led by the agency’s president and CEO Emilio de Quiros, Jr., saying the bonuses should be returned to the workers’ fund.

The labor center also said that the more than P10 million bonus pocketed by the SSS executives puts in question the validity of the recently-approved 0.6 per cent increase in members’ premiums contributions.

“It is disgusting that the executives of an agency tasked to serve workers chose to get millions from workers’ hard-earned savings. They should return the money and resign from their posts if they still have an ounce of shame in their bodies (kaunting kahihiyan sa katawan),” said Jerome Adonis, SSS campaigns officer of KMU.

The labor leader said that while it is legal for executives of government-owned and controlled corporations to write their own paychecks, executives of the SSS should have exercised prudence and refused such huge bonuses.

He also said that SSS executives should not be given huge bonuses because of the agency’s failure to give justice to workers of more than 130,000 employers who failed to remit their contributions to the agency as of Dec. 2010.

“It is enraging that SSS executives pocketed huge bonuses while trying to justify an increase in members’ premium contributions. These bonuses highlight the fact that the SSS leadership is being untransparent and insensitive to members,” Adonis said.

KMU cited the SSS’s report that it posted a net income of P36.2 billion in 2012, or an increase by 42 per cent from 2011.

“The SSS leadership has failed to explain the agency’s P1.1 trillion so-called unfunded liability, which is being used to try to justify the premium hike. SSS members have been paying premiums diligently and the agency will only have a huge liability because big capitalists are allowed to raid the workers’ fund through the latter’s so-called investments,” Adonis said.

The labor leader also said that SSS executives, including Daniel Edralin, former chairperson of labor group Alliance of Progressive Labor, are able to acquire huge bonuses because no less than Pres. Noynoy Aquino is getting huge amounts in pork barrel funds.

“These bonuses are manifestations of the rot at the top, so to speak. Low-level bureaucrats are allowed to pocket huge sums from the people’s money because top-level ones, especially Aquino the Pork Barrel King, are pocketing even bigger amounts,” stated Adonis.

Reference: Jerome Adonis, SSS campaigns officer of KMU, 0999-4499794

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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News Release

October 7, 2013

Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares, 09178350459

BAYAN MUNA HITS SSS BOARD FOR MORE THAN P10 MILLION BONUSES

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares today hit the Social Security System (SSS) Board of Directors issuing more than P10 million bonuses for themselves and P276 million for other employees of the state run pension fund. This happened as the firm is set to hike its membership premium saying that it does not have enough funds to cover retirement and other benefits beyond the year 2039.

“Ang kakapal naman ng mukha ng Board of Directors ng SSS, hirap na hirap na nga ang mga pensioners nila sa napakababang nakukuhang pension, isama pa na dagdagan ang singil sa premium tapos ngayon ay kumukubra pa sila ng napakalaging mga bonus. Hindi ba sila nahihiya?” said the senior deputy minority leader

Rep. Colmenares took Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to task for this and blamed him for the SSS premium increase because at his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) he pushed for the supposed need to increase the SSS premium instead of the pension. “This belittles the sufferings of our senior citizens who are pensioners," he added

He said Pres. Aquino made it look like SSS was in dire straits. "But, fact is, SSS has the figures which do not call for a premium increase: their assets and investments which amounted to P345 billion in 2010; their yearly income of P21-23 billion; the collectibles of P8.5 billion; and the perks and bonuses that the SSS management receive which should be subjected to scrutiny. Recall the P200 million that SSS executives received in 2010, kailangan pa nga bawiin yun, tapos ngayon ay P286 million naman. Let's not even mention the overcharging they did for members' loans in 2011. It is the efficiency of the SSS management that really has to be increased to prolong the fund life of SSS,”

“Pres. Aquino should instead support Bayan Muna's bill, House bill 175, increasing the SSS pension. HB 175 reflects the real clamor of the pensioners who are our senior citizens," added the progressive solon.

“The SSS has 29 million members unlike the GSIS, but it claims to have no money. The fact that it has billions of uncollected premiums means its losing money due to either corruption or inefficiency. Surely our senior citizens should not be made to suffer due to the fault of SSS management. In the same way that the Bureau of Customs was put to task for failure to collect revenues, the SSS must be criticized instead of rewarded for its failure to collect unremitted contributions particularly those not remitted by big companies,” Colmenares ended.

In the 15th Congress the Bayan Muna SSS pension increase bill passed on the third reading. ###

 

     
           
           
     
 
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Condemn 10-million peso bonuses for Aquino’s SSS officials—CPP

Communist Party of the Philippines
October 09, 2013

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in condemning the awarding of fat bonuses amounting to P10 million to officials of the Social Security System appointed under the Aquino regime.

“The Filipino people are utterly indignant that officials of the SSS received so-called ‘performance bonuses’ of a million peso each, while ordinary SSS members continue to be fleeced with monthly contributions and suffer from insufficient monthly pensions,” pointed out the CPP. “That the bonuses were granted amidst plans to further burden SSS members with an an increase in their contributions make it doubly nauseating.”

The decision to grant so-called “performance bonuses” for 2012 was self-servingly made by the commissioners of the SSS. They received the following bonuses: Juan Santos, chairman, P1.17 million; Emilio de Quiros Jr., SSS president and SSS vice chairman, P1.04 million; Diana Pardo-Aguilar, P1.33 million; Daniel Edralin, P1.12 million, Eliza Antonino, P968,000; Marianita Mendoza, P1.02 million; Ibarra Malonzo, P1.41 million; and Bienvenido Laguesma, P1.30 million.

Aside from the 2012 year-end bonus, SSS officials also receive P80,000 a month for attending two meetings and additional P20,000 for every committee meeting they attend.

“The granting of fat bonuses and compensation to Aquino’s appointees to the SSS, clearly show the hypocrisy of the Aquino regime’s so-called ‘daang-matwid’,” said the CPP. “While in power, the Aquino regime is bound to reveal itself more and more to be not much different from the previous Arroyo regime and other past regimes in terms of rottenness and corruption,” said the CPP.

“The anomalous granting of P10 million in bonuses to Aquino’s officers in the SSS are further stirs up the Filipino people’s indignation at the Aquino regime and its good governance publicity,” said the CPP. “Aquino’s unceasing styling of himself as an anti-corruption advocate is turning out to be nothing but a stunt to conceal the corruption of his rule.”

The CPP noted that the SSS maintains a hefty reserve fund of P350 billion which is placed under the discretion and control of the officials appointed by Aquino to the SSS. “It has been revealed that over the past three years, the SSS has increased its equity investments in such big comprador companies as Philex Mining Corp., Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., First Holdings Corp., Manila Electric Co. and Union Bank.”

As much as 30% of the P105 billion in pension funds are risked in the stock market.

“By investing the money of the SSS members in these corporations, these corrupt SSS officials are made to sit as board members and can also receive compensation in these companies,” pointed out the CPP. There is no clear accounting of the numerous investments being made by the SSS.

 

     
           
     
     
     

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NEWS RELEASE
8 October 2013

SSS ‘gambles’ P350B pork from workers’ pension funds in biz ventures – EILER

Aside from spending on hefty bonuses for its executives, the Social Security System (SSS) is also “gambling” workers’ contributions as equity investments in business ventures of the country’s tycoons, according to a labor think tank.

Quezon City-based Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) said that the SSS’ P350-billion investment reserve fund as of 2012, which is discretionary in nature, should be rechanneled to workers’ benefits, instead of using to finance speculative activities which only benefit big businesses.

The huge investment reserve fund is spent based on the discretion of SSS board of directors.

“The P350 billion SSS reserve fund is a huge sum that could have been used to upgrade the benefits being provided by the government to workers. Such huge fund also proves that the planned SSS premium hike is unnecessary and unjust,” EILER executive director Anna Leah Escresa said.

“Even if there are immense earnings from SSS investments, this does not translate to greater pension coverage and better benefits for workers. The sole benefactors of SSS profits are the corporate stockholders and SSS executives who reward themselves with multi-million bonuses,” Escresa added.

The labor research group noted that SSS under Emilio de Quiros has significant equity investments in Philex Mining Corporation (20.58 percent), in Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Co., First Holdings Corp., Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), Union Bank, among others. SSS also channels at least P105 billion of pension funds, or 30 percent of the investment reserve fund, to the stock market.

SSS’ income from its corporate investments amounted to P18 billion during the first half of the year. No clear accounting has been made so far on SSS’ numerous investments and investment incomes.

“What is clear right now is that SSS investments only benefit the big businesses and the SSS executives which reward themselves a P1-million bonus each for their pro-business job, instead of supporting social protection programs for workers who are the main contributors to the SSS fund,” Escresa said.

“Workers are the ones who should benefit from it, not the SSS executives and the board members of big firms who are currently pigging out on gigantic bonuses and dividends,” Escresa concluded.

The research group said it is planning to ask Congress to probe the P350 SSS investment reserve funds.

Reference: Anna Leah Escresa, EILER executive director, 0908-819-6319


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Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER)
www.eiler.ph
15 Anonas St., Unit D-24 Cellar Mansions
Barangay Quirino 3-A, Project 3, Quezon City,
Philippines 1102
Tel. No. (+632) 4339287 (telefax);
SEC. Reg. No. A200100111

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Media Release
25 Sept. 2013

KMU hits Aquino’s go for SSS premium hike

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned Pres. Noynoy Aquino today for approving a 0.6 per cent increase in members’ contributions to the Social Security System, claiming the increase is an added burden for workers suffering from low wages and is not necessary to increase members’ benefits.

The labor center also said that the increase will go to the pockets of capitalists in the form of funds for the government’s Public-Private Partnership program, citing the agency’s P23.4 Billion share in Philex Mining Corporation as an example.

KMU said that amidst the pork barrel scam, workers resent the idea of giving more of their hard-earned income to the government, suspecting that their money will be pocketed by big politicians.

“The SSS leadership has consistently claimed that the workers’ fund is in a healthy condition. We therefore see no legitimate reason for increasing members’ contribution,” said Jerome Adonis, SSS campaigns officer of the KMU.

Data from the SSS show that it had P343.67 Billion in assets in March 2012 and that its net income increased by P25.55 Billion in 2011 and by P36.20 Billion in 2012, showing a 42 per cent increase.

The SSS still has to collect some P8.52 Billion in premiums unremitted by employers as of December 2010, aside from the P14.6 Billion fine for employers who did not avail of amnesty.

“This move by the SSS leadership is not motivated by a concern for members of the SSS who are suffering from meager wages and contractual employment. The premium hike is an added burden for SSS members,” Adonis said.

The labor leader said the increase in members’ benefits can be done without increasing members’ contributions and is now being used to make the premium hike acceptable to members.

“Members are continuously remitting their contributions to the SSS and its active members far outnumber its pensioners. The SSS leadership still has to come up with a credible explanation as to how a premium hike is needed to extend the fund’s life,” he added.

The SSS has at present 10 million members and 1.6 million pensioners. The SSS leadership said that it pushed for a premium hike so as to comply with international standards pertaining to the life of social funds but has refused to fully disclose its investments in private corporations.

KMU vowed to hold protests in the coming weeks and months to stall the hike’s implementation scheduled on January 2014.

Reference: Jerome Adonis, KMU’s SSS campaigns officer, 0999-4499794

 

     
     
     
 From social media
     

Ansaya lang maging SSS board member:
- may 2 board meetings per month,
- may 2 committee meetings per month.
Hardworking talaga, hard at work in meetings.
Tapos, end of the year, may P1M bonus.
Buti na lang compulsory ang membership sa mga workers/employees ng private companies. Otherwise, baka walang magbayad ng monthly premium.

See the video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kc2hmUxRnc

 

           
     
     

The SSS directors who gave themselves more than P1M in bonus from the fund contributed by workers and employees who have to labor hard and long to earn their upkeep..
The faces look familiar, the names too.
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Heto ang ilang mukha. Ang isa ay kapatid ng columnist. Yung dalawa naman ay Akbayan/Akbayan related. The chair has been a corporate man all his life:
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Mr. Juan B. Santos has been a director of PLDT since January 25, 2011. He is the Chairman of Social Security Commission, a member of the Board of Directors of Alaska Milk Corporation, First Philippine Holdings Corporation, Sun life Grepa Financials, Inc. Philex Mining Corporation and Zuellig Group, Inc., a member of the Board of Advisors of Coca Cola Bottlers Phils., Inc. and East-West Seeds Co., Inc., a trustee of St. Luke's Medical Center and Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, and a consultant of the Marsman-Drysdale Group of Companies.

Mr. Santos retired as CEO of Nestle Philippines, Inc., or NPI, in 2003 and continued to serve as Chairman of NPI until 2005. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO of NPI, he was CEO of the Nestle Group of Companies in Thailand and Singapore. He served as Secretary of Trade and Industry from February to July 2005 and was designated as a member of the Governance Advisory Council, and Private Sector Representative for the Public-Private Sector Task Force for the Development of Globally Competitive Philippine Service Industries.
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The P1M is probably barya to the chair and he is serving in a government corporation at great sacrifice to his earning potential.

           
           

 

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