Malacañang is demanding an explanation about the reported huge bonuses granted to members of the Social Security System (SSS) board last year.
Eight members of the SSS board reportedly received P1 million each as bonuses for the agency’s reported good performance in 2012. Another P276 million worth of bonuses were also reportedly given to the employees of the pension agency.
Deputy Presidential Spokesman Abigail Valte said they would ask the SSS as well as the Governance Commission for Government-owned and -controlled Corporations (GCG) to shed some light on the reported performance bonuses.
Valte acknowledged that GCG “determines and approves the declarations of bonuses” for government firms.
“It’s also subject to the rules that are laid down by the GCG on the matter of the bonuses so we’ll ask them to give us an idea or at least the material relatives to the rules that they have set down for the determination of bonuses of a particular GOCC,” she added.
Social Security System (SSS) President Emilio de Quiros defended in a radio interview Tuesday that the P10 million bonus given to eight SSS top officials was legal as it is according to a “performance-based incentive system” applicable to all GOCCs.
The eight SSS “top performers” who received fat bonuses are:
-Ibarra Malonzo, board member: P1.416 million;
-Diana Pardo-Aguilar, board member: P1.336 million;
-Bienvenido Laguesma, board member: P1.304 million;
-Chairman Juan Santos: P1.176 million;
-Daniel Edralin, board member: P1.128 million;
-Vice Chairman and President de Quiros: P1.04 million;
-Marianita Mendoza, board member: P1.024 million; and
-Eliza Antonio, board member: P968,000
De Quiros also boasted that the giving of bonus has already been done by GOCCs in the past and added that employees, other than the eight top performers, were also rewarded with P276 million in total.
Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) which called for the resignation of the officials who received the bonuses slammed the SSS leadership saying this exemplifies how “untransparent and insensitive” they are.
Bayan Muna party list Rep. Neri Colmenares, on the other hand, tagged these SSS officials as “thick-faced” and blamed President Benigno Aquino III for expressing his support to raise SSS premium.
Colmenares early this week revealed that based on its 2010 financial records, SSS has an assets and investment totaling to P345 billion; annual income of P21 to P23 billion, and P8.5 in collectibles.
De Quiros, however, said that the bonus was just right as the agency has earned 36 billion in 2012. He also said that he expects another bonus for next year as the agency is about to reach its target for the year.
Retired SSS executive Horace Templo, meanwhile said in news reports, that the commissioners should not receive bonus, adding that the basis for the productivity bonus, which was the employees per annual diem, was questionable as it was usually computed based on monthly salary.
The distribution of the bonuses came amid the proposed 0.6 percent increase in the monthly premium contributions for employees in the private sector supposedly to ensure the long term viability of the fund.
Asked if the P1-million bonus to each SSS director was excessive, Valte said: “We’ll have to look at the numbers first. It has to be put into context.”
Valte noted that there are certain requirements before bonuses are given to the government executives. “The attendance requirement is one of them, as well as the profits that they may have generated in a particular fiscal year,” she said.
At a press conference on Tuesday, de Quiros said there is nothing irregular about their big bonuses and opined that the complaints were probably from employees whose poor performances deprived them of bonuses.