Sense and Sensitivity

OVER at the Social Security System (SSS), the management headed by former bank executive Emilio de Quiroz, Jr. has announced that by January next year (2014) they will be raising premiums to enable the private employees’ social welfare fund to extend its useful life from 2039 to about 2042. Management said this is necessary because SSS has trillions of pesos worth of liabilities it has to cover which will not be possible with its current fund generation.

SSS boss Emilio De Quiroz Jr. -- Photo from Tempo

SSS boss Emilio De Quiroz Jr. — Photo from Tempo

“Liabilities,” as we all know, are things that have to be paid for, the bulk of which is debt (UTANG).

This makes sense, because many things happen over the years including inflation, the increase of the cost of money, depleting natural resources which makes basic stuff more expensive… and it also makes sense since their goal is to increase member benefits like the amount for pensions which also have to meet the challenges of increased costs and prices.

In the same breath Mr. De Quiroz announced the granting of and annual bonus for management– board members included – and, we assume, all or most of the SSS employees. Basically, De Quiroz says that it is for a job well done in 2012.

Now the bonus to SSS employees for 2012 amounts to P276 million while the eight board members including De Quiroz get about P10 million – roughly a tad over P1 million each.

Sure, some employees may deserve the bonus their getting. After all I’m sure they all need to be positively reinforced for the tough job they’re doing. I will not judge these people because I don’t know them or what they exactly do or achieve.

I will assume that they have worked over and beyond the call of their duty, which is what bonuses are for. You get a salary for doing your job, and you get a bonus for doing more which should have resulted in better company performance – in this case, profit for the pension fund… a lot of bonus worthy profit.

Neither will I judge top management, the board of directors and even Mr. De Quiroz himself. For all I know they had spent all those sleepless nights in deep study of the facts and figures that the SSS generates and those stressful meetings (for which they each get a per diem of P40,000 for each of the two monthly meetings) locked in contentious debate for the proper formulation of policy.

This includes coming up with the rationale that these P10 million and P276 million is a drop in the bucket compared to what has to be covered by the contribution increases starting next year.

I do have an issue with their sensitivity to member perception.

When any of us fail to pay a debt – credit card, housing loan, car loan – first thing auditors look at is what expenses we have to get rid of to pay the debt. Next, what assets or things do we have in our possession do we need to get rid of or sell to add to the funds needed to pay the debt.

In other words your standing depends on how they perceive you handle money. No matter how much you tell them that you’ll pay them back, no matter how credible and trustworthy you character references say you are, nothing proves your worth better than showing that you put settling your obligations first. Be it just one peso or a million, showing your priorities reveal your character and sincerity.

Now in the case of SSS, these management decisions are seen in the light of retirees not being able to make ends meet, high costs of food, medicines, clothing and other basics, long queues and waiting time to be served and even impatient, grumpy SSS employees behind the counter and even slow or erratic internet access to the website.

SSS management’s moves are seen as – to say the least – insensitive to the millions of private sector employees who contribute to and are the real owners of the fund.

While these board members are appointed by the President, it would also be good to note that these appointments were made by the power vested in him by the citizenry, many of whom are the members of SSS.

And that’s why these very same members – who may or may not have a loaded gun on their hands (I pray it isn’t the latter) – are pissed.

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34 Responses to Sense and Sensitivity

  1. Cristy B. says:

    Your article has moved me to tear up (a bit). Finally, somebody has come with a well written article about how government institution like SSS has taken advantage of the powerlessness of the ordinary members who own it but whose voice are never heard always in their board room. I hope our dear P’Noy could read this and act on it. Good job. God bless.

  2. Gerd says:

    bunos worth minimum of 1 Million? sana bigyan kayo ng mahabang buhay para hahaba din ang paghihirap nyo sa pagtanda bossing. pera namin yan ginawa nyo lang na bunos! samantala kami wala man lang ka bunos-bunos.

    • Kaya mga ka SSS members maging vigilant tayo sa ating pinagpaguran na contribution, si Mr. de Quiroz ay bago lang CEO ng SSS pero di paman pinakikita na ang masiba at gahaman sa benepisyo at bonuses niya at ng kanyang mga officials. pero ang serbisyo nila sa ating mga SSS members napabagal na serbisyo at minsan nasusupla kapa pag nagpa follow-up..

  3. Chriz says:

    why they should get millions in bonus??? this is a retiree fund therefore the executives of the SSS should not get millions of bonuses, this is one of the way how the fund is being depleted, can you imagine if that money is saved and help for the benefit of SSS members??? when you claim for the benefit, its a heel of a process, pahirapan pa, dapat sana ibigay na nga yung benefit kasi benefit mo nga yun, ang gastos mo sa pag process ng benefit mo like sickness ma off-set lang ng iyong gastos sa pabalik balik sa processing ng iyong claim!!! what a shit corporation…..

  4. Beng Ong says:

    tigas talaga ng pagmumukha ng mga government employees! magkasakit sana kayo ng malala pati buong pamilya nyo para di nyo pakinabangan sa sarap ang pera ng taong bayan!

  5. i’m just wondering giving them a huge bonus in fact mostly of them came from public employee which absolutely received benefits from gsis agency or maybe a big bonus from malacang ’cause they are appointees. The fund owned by contributing members why they have no right to avail such bonus or yearly dividend

  6. Jun says:

    (executive Emilio de Quiroz, Jr. has announced that by January next year (2014) they will be raising premiums)…………Additional burden to all members of SSS, why they will have a bonuses when in fact that is our paying member money and yet nothing has mention about any benefits to us paying members? When will the paying member get what they have contributed for? When we reach the age 60?But they, the sss employees and executives will reap immediately the money we contributed for.

  7. Jose P. Espinosa Jr. says:

    another job of making the SSS members suffer, why are they wasting our money, need another investigation, that money of bonuses must be given to the SSS members, not o those board members, or any of the officials in the SSS. These are people’s money, need to be given to the benefits of the members.

  8. Arnell says:

    If you think about it, SSS is a mandatory retirement fund controlled by the government. Well, you know how government runs things and it is known that politicians used to dip their fingers in the fund. Maybe its time to take control of the retirement fund away from government. Open the set up and management of funds to the private sector like how they do it in more advanced economies. You can take out the fund manager if he does not perform; with political appointees, you need to remove the President of the Philippines to take out the political appointees.

  9. Pati ba naman sa SSS eh nagkakanakawan din? Magtataas kayo ng singil sa bawat miyembro, habang ang mga bonus niyo eh ang lalaki. Mabibitin ba mga bonus niyo kung hindi masisingil ng mas malaki ang bawat miyembro? Kaya pala panay ang papuri kay PNoy ng kapatid niyang si Conrado de Quiros sa Inquirer. Mga Hinayupak na pahirap sa bayan! Pera namin yan!!

  10. attong OFw says:

    tama po kayo sa lahat ng mga sinabi nyo, kong mayrong kita dahil naghulog ang mga member para sa kanilang retirement, hindi para sa kanilang bunos ng mga commissioner. para silang mga linta, sucking the blood of poor member…

  11. People need to be alarmed not just on SSS premiums increases. Plans to increase Philhealth premiums by 100% in January 2014 is glaring proof of how Aquino’s 2014 healthcare budget will not go straight to hospital services. The Aquino government has placed the distribution of Philhealth cards and private sector participation at the centerpiece of its healthcare program, allocating P35.3B of the total P80.8B health budget to the distribution of sponsored Philhealth cards for poor families. But what happens after the sponsorship expires? With the proposed increase in Philhealth premiums, poor Filipino families will now have to contend with the annual P2400 payment in order to avail of Philhealth benefits.

    Philhealth has announced it will be implementing the new annual premium rate of P2400 from P1200 for individually paying members in January 2014. Philhealth members with an estimated monthly income of more than P25000 will have to pay P3600 annually.

    • joelm. says:

      why they are distributing philhealth benefits are they religiously paying the premiums unlike regular employees, whether they like it or not they have to pay premiums then they distributing it for free for political gimmickry?

  12. why is it that the government has taken control of SSS, when they are privatizing their own controlled firms, they have their own GSIS it is better to give back what they have. taken give SSS back to the private sector and let us handle our own.

  13. clang says:

    Nakakapagod kayong mga magnanakaw sa gobyerno! pero huwag kayong mag-alala, dadating ang karma sa inyong lahat! hinding-hindi kayo magiging masaya sa buhay dahil sa sinasadyang pagpapahirap ninyo sa bayan. dadami man ang pera ninyo pero hinding-hindi kayo magiging masaya! magtatagal ang buhay n’yo pero lahat ng natitirang araw n’yo sa mundo ay mapupuno ng pasakit hanggang sa gugustuhin n’yong mawala na lamang sa mundong ito. Tingnan ninyo ang mga gahamang katulad ninyo… nasa wheelchair lahat. Kaya kayong mga namumuno sa SSS na hindi nakokonsensya sa mga pinaggagagawa n’yo ngayon, kayo na bahala. Basta kaming mga nagbabayad ng premiums ay magdadasal at patuloy na hihingi ng awa ng Diyos upang maging maayos, masaya, at malusog ang aming mga pamilya….

  14. Karex says:

    wow lahat na lang tumataas, just wondering if this is the “matuwid na daan” na sinasabi ni PNOY parang mas mahihirapan pa tayo in the near future… pwede ba na lumiko na lang tayo?? hayyz poor pinoys

  15. Arturo V. Africa says:

    Hoy! Tang’na n’yo. Pera namin ‘yan. Anong job well done ang cinasabi mo? Iyan ba ang tuwid na daan? Tuwid na tuwid papunta sa bulsa ninyo.

  16. rohdanthe says:

    Sarap gumastos ng di sa inyo no? Mayaman ang namumuno sa gobyerno at ang niluklok sa SSS ay mayaman din at pinapayagang lustayin ang contribution ng naghihirap na SSS member. Kala ko bossing mo ay taong bayan pero ang pinanigan mo ay mayayaman! Wala talagang matino sa ating gobyerno puro plataforma na wala namang kwenta!

  17. dyegobandido says:

    kamag-anakan ba ni napoles yang de quiroz? halos magkasing ugali yata, magkaiba lang ng diskarte

  18. SSS MEMBER says:

    tuwid na daan walang preno preno ang mga pagtaas ng bilihin, puro tax d2 tax duon pagkatapos binubulsa lang naman ng mga hinayupak na buwaya…. isa din na halimaw yang QUIROZ na yan… ang mga pinaghirapan nga mga simpleng mangagawa pinaglalaruan lang nila mapagsamantala, LORD PATAWARIN NIYO SILA HINDI NA NILA ALAM ANG KANILANG GINAGAWA

  19. JANEL says:

    Mr. de quiroz ang kapal po ng pagmumukha nyo…..job well done daw..wala naman po kayong magandang nagawa sa SSS…Mahiya naman po sana kayo…MARAMI PONG PILIPINONG MAHIHIRAP NA LALONG NAGHIHIRAP …

  20. Daisy Showers says:

    Pinoy, umasa kaming mga maliliit na isa kang tunay na lingkod ng bayan tulad ng iyong mga magulang ngunit ano itong nangyayari sa ating bansa, nakakasuka na lahat ang kabi kabilang nakawan sa kaban ng bayan ng mga pinili mong tumulong sa iyo sa pagpapalakad ng gobyerno, bilang respeto sa iyong mga maulang ipakulolong at alisin mo na ang mga makakapal at gahamang mga tao mo tulad ng mga senador, kongresman, pati ang board ng SSS na inuuna ang bulsa kesa sa mga taong dapat nilang pinaglilingkurann, ang 80,000.00 buwan buwan ay sobra sobra kahit ano pa ang kanilang responsibilidad sa ahensya, tama na sobra na kung ayaw ninyo na maihanay rin kayo sa mga pusakal na dating namuno sa bayan…..

  21. elay says:

    I AM SO DISAPPOINTED WITH YOU MR. PRESIDENT AQUINO. DURING THE 2010 NATIONAL ELECTIONS, I CAMPAIGNED AND VOTED FOR YOU KAHIT D MO KO KILALA, BECAUSE I BELIEVED IN YOU. BECAUSE I LOVE YOUR PARENTS. BECAUSE I BELIEVED THAT YOU WON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID THAT MAY DESTROY THE HONORABLE NAME OF YOUR PARENTS. BUT NOW, EVERYTIME I OPEN THE TV, THERE’S JUST NOTHING THERE BUT RAMPANT ROBBING OF THE PEOPLE’S MONEY. AND HERE COMES YOUR APPOINTEE AT THE SSS… CLAIMING THEY DESERVE THE MILLION BONUSES FOR A JOB WELL DONE. MY GOD, THAT’S THE PEOPLE’S MONEY… D PA BA KASYA SA KANILA UNG NAPAKALALAKI NILANG SWELDO AT PER DIEM SA BOARD MEETINGS? MR. PRESIDENT, YOU’RE LOOSING A GRIP OF THIS GOVERNMENT… PLEASE DON’T WAIT TILL THE PEOPLE LOOSE THEIR FAITH IN YOU, OUR ONLY HOPE TO MAKE A REAL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER…

  22. Louis kierulf says:

    Greed for giving themselves a million peso bonus… Walang hiya!

  23. Sana naman mabuksan na ang mgamata ng ating Presidente at makita niya ang tunay na problema sa sss. Bakit kailangang magdagdag ng hulog sa SSS samantalang magagaling pala silang magtrabaho, kaya nga may bonus. Bakit nalulugi at paubos na ang pera jan, samantalang dapat nga sana ay tumutubo ang pera namin. Ang tagal tagal ninyong hinahawakan ang pera namin, nilugi nyo, tapos malalaki sweldo, may magagarang sasakyan, sinasaluduhan pa ng nagpapasweldo.Saan ka pa? Tapos ang kakapal ng mukhang magsabing deserving sila sa milliong bonus? Yan ang TAMA NA, SOBRA NA!

    p

  24. Lorna says:

    gusto mong yumaman agad? simple lang. either be a news correspondent & praise to high heavens the incumbent president so that he will reward you & your family with a high-paying gov’t job with kickbacks, or enlist in his yellow party. no sweat, di ba/

  25. Arturo V. Africa says:

    Bilib talaga ako sa style ng magkapatid na de Quiros. Isang tagahimod ng puwit ng presidente at isang tagalustay ng pera ng taong bayan. Ayun, sabi ng malacañang ay ayos lang iyon dahil magagaling naman silang opisyales. Kudos sa inyong magkapatid. Magastos kaya ninyo sa impyerno ang perang pinaghirapan ng taong bayan?

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