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Neri Summoned to Face House Probe; Neri should explain the P12B SSS share to stimulus fund - Maza
Press Release Posted on January 19th, 2009.
REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0920-3155747
At the hearing on the impact of the global financial crisis at the House Committees on Economic Affairs and Banks today, Gabriela Women's Party Representative Liza Maza said Social Security System chief Romulo Neri should explain the use of the P12.5B funds of the SSS for the economic stimulus package prescribed to cushion the impact of the crisis, as this "may be tantamount to cheating off funds from the workers and SSS beneficiaries."
"It is highly questionable that the SSS share in the economic stimulus package will ever directly benefit the 24 million SSS members. It is explicit in the SSS charter that their funds should be used to finance the retirement and pension benefits of the members. Such should not be used nor diverted for government use to mitigate the impact of the economic crisis, nor should it imperil the hard-earned money of the workers," Maza said
"If indeed there are excess funds in SSS, as what their officials claim,these should be used to directly benefit the members in the form of additional pension and other benefits," she added.
Maza also warned the government against using such funds for the 2010 election campaign, recalling anomalous use of government and workers' funds in the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and PhilHealth for Pres. Arroyo'scampaign in 2004.
"If Malacanang will handle this so called economic stimulus fund, it isall the more suspicious that this will instead serve as a 'stimulus' to the administration allies' political and election agenda rather than address thereal impact of the global economic crisis especially on the poor."
Maza said she will file a resolution this week to investigate the reported allocation of SSS funds for the P300 billion economic stimulus package. ###