BS Aquino could have emerged smelling good had he negotiated instead of vetoed the SSS pension hike bill

As GRP webmaster benign0 has pointed out, the discussion surrounding the Philippine Social Security System (SSS) pension hike bill, and President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino’s vetoing of it, must be framed properly:

Indeed, the debate should revolve around the facts surrounding this question. Did Congress properly evaluate the viability of the proposed benefit hikes from the context of the on-going financial position of the SSS? And if, indeed, the SSS could have afforded those hikes, did President BS Aquino do the right thing vetoing the bill?

I would like to take it a step further and approach this discussion by mentioning one very important question that BS Aquino and his administration have yet to answer:

If the P2000 proposed hike is supposedly unacceptable, what amount is?

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Surely, if BS Aquino’s number crunchers really did their homework, and have looked it through thoroughly (napag-aralan na daw nang husto), there exists a value between greater than 0 and less than 2000 that could have been agreed upon. At this point, any increase would have been welcome.


Where’s the counter-proposal figure from Malacanañg? Apparently, instead of approaching the pension hike as a negotiation, where every involved party has the potential to come out a winner, BS Aquino chose to approach it instead with binary decision making, and as a zero-sum game, where there is a winner and a loser.

In the corporate world, negotiation is a necessity in order for your company to get the most optimal deals when dealing with both clients and vendors. The ideal outcome of a good negotiation is one wherein all parties walk out gaining something; this is called a win-win situation. Parties who don’t negotiate often wind up with deals wherein they pay more for something than they need to. Worse, entities that persistently make decisions in binary, i.e., only yes and no, will most likely not only end up losing out on potentially good deals, clients, and vendors, but will also most likely lose their businesses, and/or jobs.

Inevitably, concessions have to be made and some things may have to be given up in order to get what one wants. Furthermore, sometimes not all parties are necessarily willing to yield what the other parties are asking for in order to get what they want, but this is a topic for a separate discussion.

In this case, had BS Aquino been a bit shrewder, he could have approved the hike – though the amount might have been different – and used it as currency for the candidates of the Liberal Party (LP) in the upcoming elections. Instead, what the LP candidates can expect to get is backlash, all because of a decision widely perceived as “cruel and heartless”.

Then again, Filipinos probably should not have expected BS Aquino to have even consider, much less be skilled in negotiating. His upbringing as part of a haciendero clan has imbibed him with the belief that he should be able to get anything he wants at all times, and that when he puts his foot down, there is no room left for discussion. And as Senator Antonio Trillanes has explained, BS Aquino has never had a real job.

Aquino apologists may contend that negotiating is beneath and beyond the president and the scope of his job, respectively. What kind of public servant will not fight tooth and nail and explore all possible alternatives to grant feasible benefits to the citizens that he is put in a position to represent? Yes, the president is STILL a public servant.

The answer: a Filipino one. Especially if his name is Aquino.

As columnist Ben Kritz has pointed out in his recent Manila Times column, BS Aquino has, for the most part, clearly not understood that there is a difference between the titles of “President” and “Emperor”. And because of that, he may have just committed political suicide.

That BS Aquino seemingly treated this whole thing as a binary decision, and not immediately considered any other value in the area between 0 and 2000, is perhaps the most disappointing and infuriating aspect of this issue. But then again, he is just being consistent.

15 Replies to “BS Aquino could have emerged smelling good had he negotiated instead of vetoed the SSS pension hike bill”

  1. I already read some time ago that the operating expense of SSS is the highest in Asia. Its collection efficiency is very bad. Its risk management is shrouded in secrecy.

    With a culture in government under PNoy? I doubt they have taken a look at such. His vocabulary does not include the word: pro-active. Added to that, the guy is anti-poor, so it was intuitive for him to veto the bill. Look he was against the rationalization of the income tax.

    With DAP and SAF44 under his belt, hope they are already building the cell at the hospital in Mandaluyong where he would be locked-in for the rest of his life. SSS just made the building of this cell urgent.

    1. Oh, I should correct myself. He is not anti-poor, for in a way anti-poor is good. I should say he and Kris love the poor for they want their numbers to increase.

      Nothing will be changed after 2016. Mar, Poe, Binay, and Duterte are all beholden to Cory and/or PNoy, one way or the other. The ship is sinking; we need a revolution, bloody or not.

  2. All this noise about SSS does not make sense. Legislators are just butt-hurt because Malacañang just told them with the veto, you are all stupid. What puerile guys we have as leaders.

    We should not be having this discussion if only there was a mentality of continuous improvement in the system. But alas, we don’t.

  3. Don’t get angry, get even. JPE is now being interviewed on radio. He is out to get PNoy for the SAF44.

    Talking about EDCA also now. He has very interesting observation about EDCA and Spratley. Scary what he is saying.

    1. Per JPE, USA is now in an isolationist mode — no longer interested in global hegemony. Australia and NZ are the ones really worried about the forward bases of China in Spratley, and that is why US has no choice, but EDCA.

      For us, EDCA is damn if we do, damn if we don’t. We have no choice since we have nothing in terms of military, so SC is correct about EDCA. But, EDCA is also about confining the war within the Philippines, if China becomes more aggressive. Right now, we can yak yak yak, but it will amount to nothing. Spratley is all about military might. Where are all the pabaons the generals pocketed? Might as well we dissolve the entire army, instead of just having a token force.

    2. Per JPE, if China wants to occupy us at this point, all it needs are helicopters.

      I am now scared about our children. I have been to China many times — they treat workers like second class citizens, if not as slaves. These guys have no conception of human dignity in the philosophical manner.

      ….on second thought, what is the difference? Oligarchs in the Philippines already treat the masses as sub-humans. Problem is the hoi polloi allow the situation to persist.

      SSS reflects just the symptoms.

      1. Ya, I know, Angel.???? But, been busy. Tom, I hv to go back to northern Thailand again. In the mid of testing a dextranase there.

        Meantime, more power to you, guys. ????????☺

        1. @ ADD, SO you finally figured it out,eh? IF IF IF the Filipino people do not produce a bloody revolt that eradicates the elites and the oligarchs, there are less than 1,500 of these families, you people here at GRP will be doing what you are doing for the past 10 years for next 50 years. You should all have figured out ,a long time ago, that the people you are dealing with are ruthless and arrogant. The only way to deal with them is with a ruthlessness which is much greater than that which they assert. Check it out, the POS would not even give SSS pensioners a measley P2000(EU43/USD$50) so what is he going to do next time the ‘massa’ are underwater during a flood? I will tell you: HE WILL LET THEM ALL DROWN !(this is not rocket science )
          and BTW, it would be EZ !

  4. I believe this and or scenario. PNoY smells bad to the 2M pensioners but looks good to the 30M who wants to extend SSS lifespan. The same way that congress looks bad to the 30M but looks good to the 2M pensioners.

  5. Aquino has never been poor. He was born with a “silver spoon” in his mouth or in his ass, whatever.

    Any amount would have help people, from their financial hardship. However, he has no empathy on hurting people. If the money would had been the DAP, PDAF, or Pork Barrel to bribe legislators. It would have been a different story. Approved “agad”…

    1. I believe this has nothing to do with the poor. More to do with age.

      Why do I say such? If your poor and are not yet pensioner until 2040, you most likely don’t want 2k increase because SSS won’t exist.

      If you go down the road that tax payers including the poor should be pay extra to give the 2M that extra 2k, you mostly likely will only do that as long as the increase will come in 2040.

  6. Here’s a fact: Aquino lacks negotiating skills. Lacks discernment. Lacks commonsense. All he needs to do is to replace all top leadership of SSS since they’re ineffective. The leadership is far compared to the leadership of PAG-IBIG. He should have find other means to address the increase of SSS pensioner like taking a small amount of national budget which is trillion and taking away a few billions is just peanut. There’s a lot of ways. His mind is just closed. Now, those pensioners are sickly and needy. How can you be heartless to this people who contributed enough during their working years and now they are devalued by the inflation.

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