Despite controversy, SSS says funds 'intact, well-protected'


Posted at Nov 01 2017 05:08 PM

MANILA - The Social Security System on Wednesday said its reserve fund, pooled from members' contributions, was intact and well-protected despite a stock investment controversy some of its officials were embroiled in.

The fund also said it has institutionalized procedures to address administrative complaints, which will ensure involved parties are given due process.

"SSS guarantees its members that the Investment Reserve Fund, which came from members' contributions and investment income, is intact and well-protected," its statement read.

SSS Vice President for Equities Investment Division Reginald Candelaria and Senior Vice President and Chief actuary George Ongkeko Jr. have resigned from their posts after an administrative complaint was filed against them.

Commissioner Pompee La Viña claimed Candelaria and Equities Product Development head Ernesto Francisco used information they got from an accredited SSS broker to "profit" from the initial public offerings (IPOs) of 5 companies, instead of recommending them to the Social Security Commission, the policy-making body of the SSS.

Ongkeko, meanwhile, was named in the complaint for allegedly failing to "ensure strict compliance" to SSS policies as head of the risk management group. 

Executive Vice President Rizaldy Capulong was also included in the complaint for alleged “gross neglect of duty."

He is the chief of the SSS investment sector, which covers the capital markets group, headed by Candelaria, and the fund management group, headed by Francisco.

Despite their resignation, SSS Chairman Amado Valdez said Candelaria and Ongkeko will still have to face the probe, which has been ongoing internally before it was brought to the attention of the media.

All the other officials named in the controversy will be placed on floating status as the investigation proceeds, he said.