Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino -Partido Lakas ng Masa
October 9, 2009
RELEASE SSS CALAMITY FUND NOW!
Members of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) under Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) picketed in front of the office of the SSS (Social Security Syetem) to demand the release of funds of its members.
The Social Security Agency is a government office intended to secure the benefits of the workers in the private sector through loans. One such loan is the Calamity Loan, which is aimed at providing immediate relief to SSS members in times of calamity.
However, since 2004, SSS stopped the disbursement of the Calamity Loan. Recently, Tropical Storm Ondoy damaged the lives and livelihood of thousands of SSS members. The Calamity Loan, if made available, could have provided much needed relief to members desperately seeking for help.
Leody De Guzman, Chairperson of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), lamented that, “We are very disappointed with SSS’s insensitivity to its members in these times of crisis. Even if SSS declared for the earlier renewal of the members’ Salary Loan, this is a mere token help for the members and not all members’ are qualified enough to enjoy it. Furthermore, the Salary Loan is regularly received by a qualified loaner and is not intended for calamity relief. Therefore, SSS must not make fools out of us by putting the Salary Loan as the alternative for the Calamity Loan.”
Such insensitivity has led to a snail-paced relief effort from the government. It is a shame in the part of SSS that most private foundations and peoples’ organizations have quicker response during times of calamity. Such is a big slap in the face of SSS, which collects billions of pesos from all its members.
“We demand for the release of the SSS Calamity Loan NOW! The hard-earned contributions of its members must be given without any delay for it is the mandate of SSS to secure the benefits of its members.” De Guzman further added.
The group held a short program and vowed to escalate their demands to pressure the SSS and will elevate the issue to Malacañang.