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Roque explains why SSS officials were terminated


By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte expects improved efficiency in the management of the Social Security System (SSS) following the removal of two top officials, a Malacañang official said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque stated that the President preferred there was no rift in the SSS leadership to ensure efficient operations.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announces during a press conference at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on January 4, 2018 that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has decided to terminate the services of Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) Administrator Marcial Quirico Amaro III upon verifying complaints that the administrator has made excessive trips overseas. Amaro's termination from the service is part of the President's commitment to eliminate graft and corruption in government. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

The President earlier decided not to renew the appointments of SSS Chairman Amado Valdez and Commissioner Jose Gabriel La Viña, citing presidential prerogative.

“Sa tingin ko kaya pinalitan ‘yan ni Presidente dahil nakikita niya na mas magiging efficient ang SSS kung walang hidwaan sa board ng SSS [I think the President made some changes because he sees the SSS operations will become more efficient if there is no rift in the SSS board],” Roque said during a press conference in Antique.

Roque assured that operations in the SSS would continue despite the dismissal of Valdez and La Viña.

“Ang management ng SS hindi nabago. Patuloy naman ang trabaho dyan sa SSS [The management of the SSS has not changed. Work continues in the SSS],’ he said.

Last Monday, Malacañang announced that the services of Valdez and La Viña had been “discontinued effective immediately.” Valdez and La Viña were serving in a holdover capacity since their terms expired last June 20, 2017, according to Roque.

Roque said the President has yet to decide on the replacement of the two officials.

Earlier, the SSS employees reportedly wrote a petition to Malacañang seeking the dismissal of La Viña, who filed charges against several officials for alleged anomalous approval of contracts. The employees allegedly claimed they were demoralized by La Viña’s decision to go public with his charges before discussing the matter internally.

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