Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III has planted a kiss of death on the presidential candidacy of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and his vice-presidential teammate Camarines Sur 3rd district representative Leni Robredo.
This is the message that reverberates on the social media by concerned netizens after the president vetoed the bill seeking to grant a P2,000 across the board increase in pensions of retirees under the Social Security System.
On Facebook, user Matet Rivera posted: “… First he vetoed the reduction in tax rates. Now he also rejected the increase in SSS pensions. But he approved the increase in pay hike of govt workers (okay lang sana for the rank and file, but not for the higher positions. These people are already getting fat bonuses!) Ano ba naman ito PNoy! Good thing the end of your term is only just a few months away. We’d finally get rid of you and your administration. Here’s hoping this “tuwad na daan” won’t continue for the next 6 years (read: don’t vote for Mar)”
Jerome Basang posted this: “Talaga? So you think it’s Daang Matuwid? SSS is a useless government owned corporation that instead of helping its members, are only making the individuals the milking cow of the government. Private employees should be given the option whether or not to avail of the SSS deductions from their salaries for future “pensions” because quite frankly, it would be best to invest the money you contribute to SSS in life insurance companies what will surely invest your money well for you to enjoy a respectable retirement benefits in the future.”
Or this: “Major major disappointment for our Lolos and Lolas. They hoped to taste a bit of the fruit of their long hard labour through the P2000 pension hike. But the president just lost opportunity to be remembered by senior citizens and the whole nation that he did something good for the poor and grey-haired working people.”
But not all netizens decry the position taken by the president. Many voiced their opinion supporting the presidential veto:
Myrah Terencio Pradia: “It would be unfair for 30 million people down the line…what will be the future for their retirement if SSS will be bankrupt, my generation will never have a pension…. hard choices a leader has to make, but you have to ensure the longevity of the program….now Pnoy wants an alternative that won’t put SSS into bankruptcy..ibang mga pinoys hinde nag iisip ng matagalan….”
Patricia Tan said, “Pnoy not approving the 2k additional for SSS Pensioner his decision for the betterment of the majority & the fate of the SSS Financial Security that will still give it’s benefits for more future pensioners. I admire Pnoy’s convictions because that would show how he prioritize the people’s welfare than to grab the opportunity to use SSS “pogi points” to win his bet Mar Roxas for Presidency. Now Filipinos, Use your head rather than your emotions, you know which way is right?”
Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima considers Thursday’s veto by President Aquino on the increase of SSS monthly pension as a good move that would benefit workers in the private sector.
Purisima hailed Aquino for refusing “to let electoral politics get in the way of our responsibility to the Filipino people.”
If not for the veto, SSS would be pushed “into a fiscal cliff of insolvency,” he said citing that a P2,000 increase in pensioners’ monthly take would decrease the agency’s actuarial life to 2027 from 2042 under its current funds.