Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, together with other progressive organizations, marched to the House of Representatives in Quezon City this afternoon to call on congressmen to override Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s veto of the P2,000 hike in Social Security System pensions.
KMU and the protesters called on legislators, who are now shifting loyalties from Aquino to incoming president Rodrigo Duterte, to follow the latter’s promise to implement the pension hike if he is elected president.
The labor group said congressmen, who are resuming sessions today to proclaim the winners of the 2016 national elections, should give SSS pensioners and workers the good news that the pension hike would be implemented, aside from the good news that the so-called “Daang Matuwid” regime would end.
“We hold a protest today to call on the country’s legislators to finally approve the P2,000 SSS pension hike. Congressmen who are shifting their support to Duterte should also uphold his pro-worker stands, including his position on the pension hike,” said Roger Soluta, KMU vice-chairperson.
The labor leader said the issue is most important for SSS pensioners, workers and all Filipinos and certainly deserves the historic feat of overriding a president’s veto for the first time in Philippine history.
“The workers and Filipinos who voted for Duterte are also the same workers and Filipinos who were angered by Aquino’s veto of the measure. The recent elections is a rejection of Aquino, including his heartlessness towards workers and all Filipinos, which is shown by his veto of the pension hike,” Soluta stated.
Soluta said that in order for the SSS to be able to provide the pension hike, it should improve its collection, which currently stands at 38 percent; reduce the huge salaries, bonuses and perks which it gives to its top officials; and penalize capitalists who refuse or fail to remit workers’ contributions.
“Aquino’s excuse for his veto, that there’s not enough funds for the pension hike, is a lie. The SSS can and must take measures to increase its funds without burdening members, and the government has the duty to support SSS pensioners,” Soluta added.
Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU vice-chairperson, 0928-7215313