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SSS employees decry P10m bonus to board

MalacaÑang struck down calls for pension increases and scrapped anniversary pay of Social Security System employees, but members of the governing board appointed by President Aquino received nearly P10 million in bonuses last year, officials and employees said on Thursday. At least eight members of the Social Security Commission, the policy-making body of the SSS, received about P1 million each in what officials and employees described as “unconscionable” abuse of corporate funds, which represent the contributions of workers and employers . “This is anomalous,” said one official, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions from management. “It may not be illegal because it has the approval of Malacanang, but it is immoral and unethical.” The bonus was authorized by the Governance Commission for government owned or controlled corporations under the Office of the President. Copies of its authorization letter, which has been circulating among SSS employees,  was leaked to the Manila Standard Today. The amount of bonus was based on the total amount of per diems each commissioner recieved in 2012. The SSS pay each commissioner P40,000 for every session they attended. Horacio Templo, who recently retired as executive vice president after working with SSS for 40 years, said the bonus to the commissioners could be considered “abuse of authority.” “No bonus to employees, but they awarded themselves 100 percent of all their per diems for the year. It’s unprecedented in the history of SSS,” Templo said. The list of commissioners who received bonuses were Juan B. Santos, Chairman, P1.17 million; Emilio S. De Quiros, Jr., SSS President and SSC vice chairman, P1.04 million; Diana V. Pardo-Aguilar, P1.33 million; Daniel L. Edralin, P1.12 million; Eliza R. Antonino, P968,000; Marianita O. Mendoza, P1.02 million; Ibarra A. Malonzo, P1.41 million; and Bienvenido E. Laguesma, P1.30 million. Efforts to reach SSS President de Quiros failed after several attempts to call his office. The authority from the Governance Commission to grant the performance-based incentive to the members of the SSC was signed by Cesar L. Villanueva, Chairman; Ma. Angela E. Ignacio, commissioner; and Rainier B. Butalid, commissioner. It was Villanueva who had turned down the request of the Human Resource Management of the SSS requesting for P10,000 anniversary bonus to employees to mark the 56th anniversary of the SSS last September 1. Villanueva said employees can received bonus only during milestone year, which is the “15th anniversary and every fifth year thereafter.”  
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