12 October 2013
Gie Relova, Sec. Gen. BMP-NCRR
Online petition vs. SSS execs gains ground
“Our salaries are already below the family living wage which the Constitution mandates and yet you fatten yourselves on the starvation wages we live on,” stated an online petition urging Social Security System (SSS) execs to return the performance-based bonuses amounting to more than P10 million.
The petition has gained steam after only three days that it was posted at the petition site change.org.
The petition signed by more than 400 signatories was initiated by Gie Relova of the labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) which picketed the SSS office at Quezon City last week.
The petition addressed to embattled SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros further demanded that the bonuses once returned by the board members, must be used to fund increased benefits and also to discontinue the recently Palace-approved .6% increase in employees' contributions.
“The callousness of SSS officials is an abomination that deserves labor’s outright indignation. Workers haven’t gotten over their lobbying for the approval of the additional .6% burden and now their squandering what rightfully belongs to us,” Relova said.
Most of the responses by the netizens expressed disgust at SSS officials for what they branded as “shameful” and an “injustice”, were among the more refined comments. Others petition signatories went out in to calling the bonus recipients as “kapal mukha” and “pigs”, obviously referring to the pork barrel scandal which has hounded both the Legislative and Executive branches.
There were also sensible commentaries such as that of a certain Anna Kapunan who said that, “The bonus maybe legal but it is immoral to bask in bonuses that came from the hard work of the constituents who cannot even enjoy their benefits”.
“Those in GOCCs should be made to understand that they are no longer insulated. They no longer operate in a vacuum where their discretion is absolute. Government service should go back to its original intent - service,” said a certain Samantha Poblacion of Quezon City.
Among the petition’s signatories were former beauty queen Aurora Pijuan, veteran journalist Alfonso Pedroche and environmentalist Aileen Lucero.
When asked what will be the group’s next move if SSS officials refuse to give in to the demands, Relova explained that, “The online petition will most likely not be enough because as we all know, De Quiros and company have thick faces. The BMP will take the battle against this injustice to the streets”.###