PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Bicameral Conference Committee has finalized on Tuesday (October 9) the proposed law that would change the 21-year-old charter of the Social Security System (SSS).
The new charter will provide compulsory coverage to overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
Like with ordinary employees, employers will also shoulder a portion of OFW contributions.
The new charter will also increase its loan allotment such as salary loan as well as retirement benefits.
“Ngayon makakautang pa sila ng mas malaki for salary up to 25% na ngayon,at ang housing loan 5%,” said Senator Richard Gordon, the bill’s author and sponsor.
Gordon said the current P16,000 salary loan will likely to increase to P35,000.
The measure will also lower the penalty for overdue contributions from 3% to 2%.
It also promises unemployment insurance.
Employees who will lose their jobs will get financial assistance for two months amounting to half of their monthly salary.
The SSS will be headed by the Secretary of the Finance who will act as its chairman.
Presidential appointees should pass qualifications to get the position and not because of political accommodations.
Increase in monthly contributions rests on the discretion of the Board of Directors and will not require the approval of the President or an endorsement from Congress.
“The commission members have a term and they have the right to approve whatever increase in benefits,” said Senator Franklin Drilon.
The reforms will also give a chance for inactive members to renew their membership.
“As long as you are a member you can resume paying your contribution and become active member again so you can get the full benefit from the system,” explained SSS Vice Chairman Emmanuel Dooc.
The measure awaits President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature before officially becoming a law.
Before the end of the year, the President is expected to approve the bill. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo