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SSS: P10m bonus moral; Solons: Racket, unethical

By Joyce Pangco Panares | Oct. 09, 2013 at 12:10am
Social Security System (SSS) President Emilio de Quiros brushed aside on Tuesday criticisms about excessive bonuses collected by members of the governing board, which he said was “moral” because the money “are fruits of their hard labor.”

But several members of the House of Representatives called for congressional probe on the P10 million bonus collected by members of the Social Security Commission ( SSC) and its announcement to increase contribution rates of members from 10.4 percent to 11 percent of monthly salary.

Announcement. SSS president Emilio de Quiroz Jr. announces the increase in the monthly contributions of SSS members and the sale of its 8,300-square-meter property in Taguig City for P2.33 billion. Manny Palmero Announcement. SSS president Emilio de Quiroz Jr. announces the increase in the monthly contributions of SSS members and the sale of its 8,300-square-meter property in Taguig City for P2.33 billion. Manny Palmero


De Quiros defended the bonus collected by eight of nine members of the SSC and said they will receive the same performance-based incentive pay this year despite the complaints and questions about their status as civil servants as appointees of President Aquino and they only attend the monthly board meeting.

“Is it moral? I think it is,” De Quiros told reporters. “This is to encourage people to do well.”

The annual productivity bonus, which is based on monthly salary, is granted to employees based on their performance rating. Every year, 10 percent of 5,000 employees, or 500, get zero rating and do not receive bonus.

Employees complained that board members, who did not get any ratings, get 100 percent of the total per diems they received for the whole year, which is P40,000 per meeting. The Government Service Insurance System has ruled they are not government employees and may not be entitled to bonus.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, vice chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, said the millions of pesos of bonus was a “racket” by the SSS governing board.

“I cannot understand why members of the board received almost P10 million bonus while the agency is asking for increase in members’ contribution,” Evardone said.

Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello described the bonus as “inappropriate and unethical.”

“The SSS board has no business voting millions of pesos for themselves. This many not be illegal but certainly inappropriate and unethical. Congress should look into,” Bello said.

The labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) held a rally outside the SSS office at East Avenue in Quezon City to denounce the bonus of the board members and the fat salaries and allowances of 10 SSS vice presidents running into millions of pesos.

BMP President Leody de Guzman, citing the 2012 report of the Commission on Audit, said De Quiros received P4.35 million in salaries and allowances and his spokesperson, Marissu Bugante, collected P4.13 million.

“Tumatangap sila ng milyon kada taon para lang pag-isipan kung paano iipit and benepisyo ng manggagawang miyembro ng SSS habang kumakain ng masarap na meryinda tuwing board meeting,” De Guzman said.

“Ang panawagan namin, ibalik sa miyembro ang kickback at bonus at ilagay sa makatwirang halaga ang aming kontribusyon at itaas ang halaga ng benepisyo, sa halip na inkrisan ang kaltas para sa aming SSS premium,,” he said. With Merck Maguddayao and Rio Araja
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