Senator calls for investigation into SSS losses of 843.9 billion pesos

Interior of the main office of the social security system. (PHOTO FROM APPLICANT FILE)

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Tolentino has called for a Congressional investigation into reported massive net losses in the finances of the Social Security System (SSS) amounting to 843.9 billion pesos, as shown in his unaudited financial statements of 2021.

Tolentino expressed concern over the reported “huge” net loss of the SSS after the tabling of Senate Resolution No. 1006, which urged the Senate Committee on Crown Corporations and Public Enterprises to investigate the state-run pension fund “to ensure its financial viability and its ability to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities to the general public”.

“The effect of the aforementioned reported losses should be closely examined with the aim of developing laws and regulations that would provide additional security to the agency’s long-term financial position,” he said.

Tolentino cited SSS’s unaudited financial statements which quote SSS President and CEO Michael Regino as saying the multi-billion net loss shown in the 2021 unaudited financial statements is due to a change in accounting standards. provided by the Philippine Financial Reporting Standards 4.

The increase in its net loss from the previous year is due to the recognition of the “margin for adverse deviations in the police reserves”, Regino added.

40 million members

“Although SSS has ensured that its cash flow and funding position remains secure, it is necessary to study the effects of its net losses to ensure that it remains financially viable for the payment of benefits to members. covered,” the resolution reads in part.

In the 19th Congress, the Senate Committee on Crown Corporations and Public Enterprises will be headed by a new senator, who will replace the outgoing chairman, Senator Richard Gordon.

As of April 2021, about 40.49 million Filipinos were registered in the SSS, of which about 30.77 million or 76% are employed members, while 5.03 million are voluntary paying members, according to the latest data published on the site. Agency website.

About 3.35 million are self-employed members of the SSS and 1.34 million are overseas Filipino workers, the SSS reported.

According to Tolentino, with the increase in the membership base of the SSS, Congress should review existing social security benefits guaranteed under the Social Security Act of 2018, supposedly to further assist Filipino retirees and beneficiaries. to meet their financial burdens.

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