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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

SSS cites requirements to invest in stimulus fund

The Social Security System (SSS) laid out yesterday the conditions for its investment in the P100 billion infrastructure components of the proposed P300 billion economic stimulus package of the government, a senior official said.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Romulo Neri said its investment will require full government guarantee and a return commensurate to the risk and tenor of the investment.

“We require full government guarantee to make sure the SSS gets its money back with adequate returns,” Neri said. “This is a requirement mandated by the SSS charter.”

But details of the stimulus program have not been finalized and SSS has not made any formal commitment, he said, “although we feel it’s a good program and would be willing to support it.”
The stimulus package was intended to pump prime the Philippine economy as buffer against the effects of a global economic crisis, which can lead to thousands of Filipinos losing their jobs here and abroad.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the proponent of the stimulus program, sought to split the P100 billion infrastructure funding between the government and private sectors.

The public sector’s P50-billion share would come from SSS, Government Service Insurance System, Land Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines at P12.5 billion each.

He urged critics to study the SSS charter, which specifies the manner and limits on the Fund’s investments, and “to stop spreading speculations that only misinform and confuse the public.”

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