FOR THE POOR
Bayan Muna party list representative Carlos Isagani Zarate said President Benigno Aquino showed his lack of compassion for the poor by shooting down a law that would give additional pension to retirees.
Aquino has vetoed House Bill No. 5842 that would provide a P2,000 increase in the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) members.Aquino said the bill would have dire financial consequences om the SSS.
Zarate said this lack of compassion for ordinary Filipinos would have fatal impact on the presidential bid of Mar Roxas, the candidate of the ruling Liberal Party of Aquino in the May elections.
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The administration will pay for this, said Zarate. “We hope to see the last of Daang Matuwid in power.” Roxas has vowed to continue if he is elected President the “Daang Matuwid” program of Aquino, whose term ends in June.
Zarate said that the veto is another proof that Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid” lacks compassion for ordinary Filipinos.
“This veto of the SSS pension hike is the true face of Pres. Aquino’s Daang Matuwid. It is blind, deaf and numb over the urgent needs of the people. The SSS pension is a perfect example of social justice that is being denied from us by the hacienderos in power,” Zarate said.
“This is the reason why, despite the packaging of their standard bearer as a “karaniwang tao”, the masses, far from being hoodwinked, merely dismissed his moves as pathetic comical stunts. Because in truth, this exiting Aquino administration does not have a heart for the poor and the marginalized,” Zarate said.
Makabayan senatorial bet and Bayan Muna party list representative Neri Colmenares, principal author of the P2,000 SSS pension hike bill, denounced the veto as “callous.”
“Walang puso ba talaga si Pres.Aquino? This is patently anti-pensioner, anti-poor and anti-worker! The P2,000 pension hike is very reasonable and is badly needed by the pensioners and their dependents,” Colmenares lamented.
“HIndi pa tapos ang laban. I am now calling on the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to side with the people and override the Aquino veto. We are also calling on LP congressmen to cross party lines and help us override this,” Colmenares added.
“P1200 lang tinatanggap ng pensioners ngayon at the lowest. Nasa 1.9M ang pensioners ng SSS, at hindi pa kasama dito ang mga dependents. This meager pension is a far cry from the actual budgetary needs of seniors to live decently according to their needs,” Colmenares said.
Colmenares also belied the claim that the pension increase will cause SSS bankruptcy.“Hindi totoo na malulugi ang SSS kapag nag-increase ng pension. Phantom fear ng Malacanang iyan. The SSS has more than enough funds to provide an increase in pension, both the Senate and House have already discussed and sort out this issue of bankruptcy,” Colmenares stated.