SSS interested to invest in PPP infrastructure

THE Social Security System has expressed interest to enter into public private partnership (PPP) infrastructure investments as it awaits the passage of the Social Security Reform Act of 2017.

Under the current laws, President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Dooc said SSS, citing the Social Security Act of 1997, can only invest its reserve fund in infrastructure projects, foreign currency-denominated investments, government financial institutions and corporations, housing, private securities, real estate, short- and medium-term member loans.

“Under the proposed charter amendment dubbed as the Social Security Reform Act of 2017, powers and responsibilities of the SSS will be rationalized, allowing it to widen its investment opportunities for better fund returns,” said Dooc in a press statement.

The strategy is in support to the Duterte administration’s P8.4-trillion Build Build Build program that aims to maintain six to seven percent economic growth until 2022. Social Security Commission Chairman Amado Valdez said the plan, which includes participating in PPP road and tollway projects, is eyed to generate a “lifetime income for the pension fund.”

Early this year, SSS has rolled out the P2,000-pension hike, or around P7 billion disbursed to 2.2 million pensioners last March, to which it then pledged to look for ways to generate income for the pension fund alongside higher expenditures.

In addition, SSS also expressed its support to the tax reform program, with Valdez saying this will result in a more efficient delivery of service to everyone, including the pensioners. Meanwhile, Dooc said the provision to adjust income tax brackets will increase take-home pay of taxpayers.

“Based on the tax reform proposal of the finance department, families receiving a combined monthly income of between P13,000 and P40,000 will have their take-home pay increased between P1,100 and 3,500 per month or P14,000 to P42,000 per year,” Dooc said.

In the first four months of 2017, SSS member contributions grew by 9.6 percent to P52.18 billion. (JOG)