Another SSS pension hike still possible


THR BREADWINNER | Mario F. Fetalino Jr.

Retired workers from the private sector have a reason to hope for higher pension from the Social Security Service. The agency is not closing the possibility of implementing the second half of the P2,000 pension increase.

The matter is being studied carefully since contributions have dropped during the pandemic. A lot of SSS members were not able to pay their contributions, which was attributed to job losses and movement restrictions.

SSS is studying the implementation of the second tranche of pension hike because under the law, the funds of the agency should be actuarially sound before it implements the increase, according to SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora Cruz Ignacio.

Only P1,000 additional increase in SSS pensions was implemented in 2019 out of the total PHP2,000 hike.

The estate pension fund for private workers deferred the implementation of the second half this year after weighing its impact on the agency’s actuarial life.

Ignacio said the contribution increase they implemented last year is a “big help” in boosting SSS’ funds but the agency has to extend several benefits to its members such as calamity loans and unemployment benefit packages due to the pandemic.

She said SSS is now managing its funds because contributions are declining. SSS wants to cover pensioners that’s why they extended the contribution payments to collect them, she said.

SSS members have until November 30 to pay unpaid contributions on account of the movement restrictions implemented by the government to help address the rising coronavirus disease 2019 infections.

Members who will pay before the extended contribution payment deadline will not be slapped with penalty on their dues.

Many residents in Metro Manila were saddened by the way the Manila Electric Company performed after typhoon Ulysses struck the country recently.

I am one of those residents. In some parts of Las Pinas where I reside, several villages remained powerless for days after Ulysses left.

With the kind of money Meralco is earning from the power business, I thought it had invested a lot in technology and manpower to improve its service.

The Ulysses aftermath proved I was wrong.

At any rate, Meralco said it has fully restored electricity in its franchise areas after the onslaught of the typhoon.

As of November 24, 2020, Meralco has completed full restoration of all of its facilities and electric service affected by Typhoon Ulysses.

As Ulysses hit a big portion of Luzon on Nov.12, over 3.8 million Meralco customers in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon experienced power outages.

The Department of Energy, along with Meralco, also asked for patience of affected customers as full power restoration takes days particularly in areas submerged in floods.

The safety of linemen, Meralco explained, was also considered at those times.

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