By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The Social Security Fund (FSS) will be transferred to the portfolio of Social Affairs and Culture starting January 1, 2011, the same day the new citywide social security system comes into effect, the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen, confirmed yesterday.
According to the Official Gazette yesterday, the incumbent president of the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) Ip Peng Kin has been appointed full-time chairman of the administrative committee of the FSS, replacing Fung Ping Kuen for a two-year term beginning November 1, 2010.
Because of the new arrangement, Ip’s current post as the president of the FSS supervisory board will be terminated on the same day.
The Secretary for Economy and Finance told reporters on the sidelines of the opening of the 2010/11 judiciary year that the FSS will officially be managed under the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture when the year 2011 begins.
The FSS is currently under the portfolio of Economy and Finance whilst the IAS belongs to social affairs and culture.
Tam explained that since the new social security system will change to cover all Macau residents including non-employees, it is necessary to have a “more effective team” to implement the system as well as the non-mandatory central saving system in the future.
He also disclosed that Fung Ping Kuen will assume office as sub-director of the Centre of Sino-Western Cultural Studies, an academic unit of the Macau Polytechnic Institute.
Meanwhile, Ip Peng Kin told reporters at the same event that he is confident in his new job thanks to his 12-year long working experience as the head of the IAS.
Ip said that once he starts working at the FSS he plans to first concentrate on the implementation of the new social security system and also to study how to optimise the administrative procedure and enhance service quality.
With regard to the chairman post of the FSS supervisory board, Ip said the Office of the Secretary for Economy and Finance will nominate a successor later.
In addition, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Cheong U said that the new IAS chief will come from within the bureau but will be appointed as acting president only.
Cheong said that he believed the reshuffle will bring advantages and see a closer tie between the IAS and the FSS.
Francis Tam also stressed that the personnel arrangement can benefit the operation of the FSS and ensure a smooth implementation of the new social security system.