President and Chief Executive Officer Rolando Ledesma Macasaet formally assumed the post as the 20th head of the Social Security System (SSS) from outgoing PCEO Michael Gonzales Regino during turnover ceremonies held at the Magsaysay Hall of the SSS main office in East Avenue, Quezon City Tuesday, Jan 10, morning.
Macasaet, who held the position of President and General of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) during the last four years of the Duterte administration, was appointed by President Bongbong Marcos to head the SSS last week.
In his brief speech, Macasaet assured the SSS officials and employees that under his stewardship, the agency will continue with the reforms and innovations started by Regino to provide better social services to workers and pensioners.
“I will continue with the path of growth started by PCEO Regino and explore new ways for the benefit of members, pensioners, and other stakeholders,” Macasaet said. “We will work doubly hard to provide our current members and pensioners what is just and due to them without jeopardizing the financial protection of members and future pensioners,” he added.
The new SSS Chief said he was grateful to President Marcos for giving him the opportunity to serve under his administration by overseeing the state-run pension fund for those in the private sector.
“President Ferdinand R. Marcos has high expectations from us to provide guaranteed safety nets to the Filipino people,” Macasaet said. “We have to work doubly hard so we could provide our current members and pensioners on what is just and due to them without putting in jeopardy the financial protection of current members and future pensioners.”
At the same time, Macasaet commended Regino for his dedicated hard work and professional as PCEO and for instituting various reforms and programs that made SSS a leading social protection institution in the country today.
“PCEO Regino managed to transform the agency into a government show window of reform, efficacy, and dedicated public service,” Macasaet said. “The records will show that under his leadership, the SSS achieved new heights in improved social security services, in better coverages and benefits to pensioners, in providing equitable loans, better investments and improved collections.”
Earlier in his own speech, Regino urged Macasaet, whom he described as his personal friend, to continue with the implementation with the innovations he introduced that will result to better services to at least 3.1 million SSS pensioners in the country.
Macasaet took his oath of office before Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin in Malacañang on January 5, 2023. Regino served as SSS PCEO for nine months after being appointed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in March 2022. Before that, he was a member of the Social Security Commission, the highest policy-making body of the SSS.
Both Macasaet and Regino are natives of Zamboanga City and were high school classmates at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University class of 1977. They started their professional careers in Metro Manila and were appointed to key positions during the Duterte administration.
During his term, Regino said the SSS increased its efficiency, built its investment portfolio and ensured the timely and proper delivery of benefits to SSS members. In his nine-months as PCEO, Regino implemented innovative programs that benefit its members and employers.
Among these programs are the flexible contribution payment schedule for farmers and fishermen, the Contribution Subsidy Provider Program, the Consolidation of Past Due Short-Term Member Loans with Condonation of Penalty, Contribution Penalty Condonation Programs (CPCPs) for business and household employers, and the Workers’ Investment and Savings Program (WISP) Plus. The SSS also disbursed a record of P238 billion in benefits to members, pensioners, and their beneficiaries.
Before joining SSS, Macasaet had an extensive experience in public service as he served in various leadership capacities in several government-owned and controlled corporations from 1988 to 2005, such as the Philippine National Construction Corporation, Dasmariñas Industrial Steel Corporation, Skyway Corporation, and Tierra Factors Corporation.
Moreover, he has more than two decades of professional experience in financial services, banking, and public-private partnerships, most of it under the Philippine National Bank, which makes him a perfect fit to manage the pension fund. He also served as a board member of various companies such as San Miguel Corporation, Bank of Commerce, Private Infrastructure and Development Corporation, and PCI Bank.
Macasaet worked for the Bank of Montreal, served as Director of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing and with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) as vice president in Los Angeles and ASEAN based in Singapore.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics, Cum Laude, from the University of the Philippines and has earned a Master of Business Administration from the same university. He also finished an Executive Program in Finance at Columbia University and a Diploma in Management at Harvard Business School, both in the United States. 9