Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Tuesday said it was unfair to use taxpayer’s money to subsidize the P2,000 pension increase for Social Security members (SSS).
“You contribute to that fund, okay and when you retire, you get benefits from that fund, okay. So given that perspective, I don’t think it is fair to say use the taxpayers’ money to subsidize the benefits of the pension members, the SSS members, right?” Diokno told reporters in a Palace briefing.
Militant lawmakers have urged President Rodrigo Duterte to sign a congressional resolution for the pension increase, insisting that it would not lead to bankruptcy.
But Diokno said it was also “unfair” to pass the burden to Duterte.
“You know, when you pass the buck and give it to the President, that to me is unfair for the President, okay,” he said.
The budget chief said SSS executives should find ways to increase the collection efficiency of the agency.
“There are many things like they can increase the collection efficiency. I understand some corporations have been indebted to SSS, maybe they could call on them, right,” he said.
During his term, former President Benigno Aquino III has vetoed the proposed bill providing for an increase in the pension of SSS members.
Diokno said it was unfair to give Duterte the same problem.
“To me, it’s unfair to give the problem to him. In fact, it’s unfair for Congress to have passed that law, which, as you know, President Aquino vetoed,” he said.
“It should not have reached the President’s desk. The Board of Trustees should have exercised leadership and say, ‘no, we cannot do it unless we do the following things,’ okay,” he added.
During the campaign period, Duterte promised he would grant the P2,000 pension hike for retired SSS members. CDG/rga