‘Pension funds for loans, not projects’

Published by rudy Date posted on January 25, 2009

MANILA, Philippines—With so many Filipinos losing their jobs because of the slowing global economy, the government should reconsider using the money of the state-run pension funds for the P330-billion economic stimulus package.

Gabriela party-list Rep. Liza Maza said the funds of the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) as well as that of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) would be put to better use providing loans and assistance to the laid-off workers and those in danger of losing their jobs.

Maza said there was no guarantee the infrastructure projects the government is planning to pump-prime the economy would provide lucrative returns.

She said the economic stimulus package did not directly address the needs of retrenched workers.

“Workers’ funds are not for the government to use, meddle with or subject to undue financial risks by investing them in vague concepts such as an economic stimulus fund that has no assurance of pumping up the economy for the benefit of our poor workers,” she said.

Maza is the representative who demanded that SSS president Romulo Neri be summoned to Congress to explain why he committed P12.5 billion of SSS money to the P330-billion economic stimulus package. –Leila B. Salaverria, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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