We commend the President’s refusal to let electoral politics get in the way of our responsibility to the Filipino people. The proposed measure would have pushed the SSS into a fiscal cliff of insolvency. For example, the increased pay-outs would have shortened the actuarial life of the Social Security Fund from the year 2042 to 2027. It would also have doubled the unfunded liability from P1.2 trillion to P2.4 trillion.
As a standalone measure, the vetoed bill would have granted a pension increase to 2 million current retirees but imperiled the financial future of 31 million of our prospective retirees. This is about the survival of the fund: had this bill passed, there wouldn’t even be any pensions to speak of in a little more than a decade.
It was a choice between demanding better legislation for our people or dooming 31 million of our future retirees. The President, constrained by the judgment of history on one hand and the judgment of the headlines on the other, chose to put responsibility over politics. Above the election-fueled sound and fury of short-sighted criticism, our conviction to good governance meant that sometimes, we have to take the road less traveled.
We look forward to more fiscally responsible proposals that give relief to our citizens today while at the same time providing reform for future generations.