Bill empowering president to defer SSS contribution hike gets final Senate nod
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a measure that would grant the president the power to suspend increases in premium contributions of the Social Security System (SSS) during times of declared national emergency or state of calamity.
Voting 21-0, senators approved Senate Bill No. 2027, which seeks to authorize the president to hold off the SSS contribution hike for a limited period of six months.
The deferment could be extended for a further six months.
“If the pandemic is a continuing disaster, the playbook on how to handle it must remain a work in progress. This bill is the latest entry in our COVID response manual,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said in explaining his “yes” vote.
“This bill gives the President another circuit breaker power, this time on a payroll tax, also known as the SSS membership contribution,” he added.
The Social Security Act of 2018 allowed the Social Security Commission, the highest governing body of the 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 contribution should supposedly be at 13 percent starting January 2021.
“Hindi naman po suspendido ang pagbayad sa SSS monthly. Ang pansamantalang ipinapatigil lamang ay ang dagdag na bayarin. Hindi rin pangmatagalan, pero panandalian lang,” Recto went on.
“Kaya naman po hindi malaki ang tama sa SSS. It will not be placed in financial distress for helping those who are,” he added.
Last Feb. 1, the House approved a similar measure giving the president the power to suspend the hike in the contribution rate of SSS.
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