Social Security System pensioners, together with workers and other sectors of society, marched to Mendiola this morning to condemn the adjournment of Congress last Feb. 3 without overriding Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s veto of the hike in pensions.
The protesters, led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, reiterated their demand for a P2,000 hike and rejected the proposal of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte for a P1,000 pension hike or a one-time big-time dole-out to pensioners.
Belmonte’s proposals, they said, are meant to appease SSS pensioners, workers and other sectors of society who are enraged by Aquino’s veto and Congress’ refusal to override the veto so the government can buy time, wear out protests, and not implement a pension hike.
“We are indignant over the House of Representatives’ insensitivity and lack of compassion towards SSS pensioners and members, and its puppetry to Aquino,” said Roger Soluta, KMU vice-chairperson. “How dare them belittle the struggle of SSS pensioners to have decent pensions with their little circus.”
The labor leader, citing independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, said that the P1,000 monthly pension hike being proposed by Belmonte would amount to nothing because the daily Family Living Wage in the country currently stands at P1,088.
“If officials of the Aquino government think that proposals for a P1,000 pension hike would defuse the anger of SSS pensioners and members, then they are sorely mistaken. Our anger will surely impact negatively on the Liberal Party’s chances come the May polls,” Soluta added.
Reiterating their call for a P2,000 pension hike, KMU said SSS pensioners and workers are not being fooled by Aquino’s lie that the SSS would go bankrupt in 12 years if the pension hike pushes through.
“No amount of lies from Aquino and the SSS leadership can convince SSS pensioners and members. The SSS has funds for the pension hike, it can do a lot of things to increase its fund life, and the government can fund the pension hike,” Soluta stated.
KMU called on all workers and pensioners to continue pressing for a P2,000 pension hike, even as the campaign season for the 2016 elections starts today.
Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU vice-chairperson, 0928-7215313