SSS ready to defer contribution hike if Duterte gives order
MANILA, Philippines — The state-run pension fund Social Security System (SSS) said Tuesday it is ready to defer the scheduled increase in member contribution rate this year once a law is passed or if President Rodrigo Duterte issues an order.
“Kung iyan po ay isasabatas or imamandato po sa amin ng Palasyo o ng Presidente, kami po ay susunod,” SSS President and CEO Aurora Ignacio said in a televised Laging Handa Public Briefing.
(If that will be put into law or it is mandated by the Palace or the President.)
Starting January 2021, monthly contributions to SSS will rise to 13% from the previous 12% contribution drawn from members’ salaries. The increase was due to the Republic Act No. 11199, or the Social Security Act of 2018 signed by Duterte in 2019, which allowed the state-run pension fund to jack up contribution rate by 1 percentage point every other year starting 2019 until it reaches 15 percent.
Any deferment or modification in the implementation of a law’s provision might have to be done so via a separate law passed by Congress stating such modification or deferment. In some cases, at least an Executive Order signed by the President could stop the implementation of a law.
But Ignacio assured that if the contribution hike pushes through, it will not only ensure the long-term viability of the social pension fund but will also increase the benefits enjoyed by its members.
“Ito po ay pinatupad para rin po magamot natin iyong nabawas sa fund life noong 2017 because of the additional na P1,000 pension at para na rin po sumagot sa ating unemployment benefit at expanded maternity (leave),” she said.
(This is being implemented to put a remedy in the deductions in the fund life in 2017 due to the additional P1,000 pension and as an answer to our unemployment benefit and expanded maternity leave.)
The Employers Confederation of the Philippines is reportedly appealing to Duterte to postpone the scheduled SSS contribution increase.
Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva, Senate committee chair on labor, employment, and human resources development, has filed a bill to suspend the scheduled hike.
Duterte earlier ordered the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. to hold off its member contributions increase this year as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. The President said the government would look for funds to cover the scheduled hike.
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