House passes bill authorizing President to defer SSS premium increases
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Monday approved on final reading a measure that would authorize the President to defer enforcement of the Social Security System (SSS) premium increases.
House Bill No. 8512, which aims to amend Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, grants the President the power to suspend the implementation of the scheduled increases in SSS contributions in times of national emergencies or when the public interest so requires.
The measure was approved with 228 affirmative votes, six negative votes, and no abstention.
The suspension of SSS premium increases shall be in consultation with the Finance Secretary as ex-officio chairperson of the Social Security Commission.
The Social Security Act of 2018 allowed the Social Security Commission, the highest governing body of SSS, to increase the contribution rate by 1 percent every other year starting 2019 until 2025.
Thus, from 12 percent last year, the increase in SSS contributions should supposedly be at 13 percent starting January 2021.
Almost simultaneously, the lower chamber passed House Bill No. 8461, enabling the President to hold off scheduled PhilHealth contribution hikes also during national emergencies or when the public interest so requires.
The proposed legislation aims to amend Republic Act No. 11223 or the Universal Healthcare Act.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, the principal author of the bill, earlier said it “will provide a much-needed relief from the negative effects of the pandemic and will assure Filipinos that the government is sensitive to their sentiments.”
Currently, the Universal Health Care Act mandates increases in member premiums by increments of 0.5 percent every year, starting 2021 until it reaches the 5-percent limit in 2025.
For 2021, the premium rate is scheduled to increase to 3.5 percent of the monthly basic salary, from the 2020 rate of 3 percent.
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