10% raise in SSS retirement benefits, part of social payback to Filipino people
Tacloban City (April 20) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's directive to increase the retirement benefits of the members of the Social Security System by ten percent, less than a year after they received a similar increase in September, is welcomed with joy.
Indeed this is part of the social payback to the Filipino people brought about by the country's improved economy under the Arroyo Administration. This is a tangible manifestation of the President's ardent wish for the economic growth to trickle down to the people.
President Arroyo gave the order as she cited the Social Security System's impressive income resulting from sound investment and efficient premium collection, during the agency's Golden Anniversary and 2nd Annual Convention of Account Executives.
Through the Social Security System, the government will focus on broadening the coverage of the institution to include the Overseas Filipino workers, self employed workers and those who operate in the underground economy.
For the start, Chairman Thelmo Cunanan informed that the SSS will focus on the Overseas Filipino Workers in the United States as pilot members, in order to increase the coverage of the Agency.
"As a result of the SSS reform program, we are really very happy and we must be very proud that the actuarial life of the agency has been extended from 2015 to 2038," President Arroyo said.
The President expressed confidence that SSS would be able to leap over the obstacles in its effort to widen its market, to improve the benefits and to get into investment areas like microfinance, because it has surpassed the seemingly insurmountable challenge of keeping the Agency alive.
The painful adjustments that were enforced since 2001 have led to the Social Security System's long-term, sustained recovery for the benefit of its 27 million members-1.1 million of whom are pensioners, President Arroyo said.
The Reserve Fund of SSS has increased from P196.3 billion in 2005 to P225 billion in 2006, SSS President Corazon dela Paz informed. (PIA 8) [top]