The bicameral conference committee on Tuesday, October 9, approved the bill expanding the coverage of Social Security Systems (SSS) to all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) under the age of 60.
Senate Bill 1753 or the proposed “Social Security Act of 2018” authored by Senator Richard Gordon, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, among other, requires SSS coverage for both land-based and sea-based OFWs given that they are under the age of 60.
The bill tasks the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment as the primary agencies that “would negotiate for the OFWs, especially those working in Middle East countries”.
Meanwhile, the bill also seeks to expand the function of the Philippine embassies in different countries abroad to enable them to collect the contributions of OFWs.
Currently, only 500,000 OFWs are covered by SSS. With the bill, this number is targeted to increase to 2.5 million.
“The bill does not promise an abundance of wealth but to secure people in case they would encounter unwanted situations in their lives through a lifeline that they themselves created through their contribution,” Gordon said.
OFW benefits from SSS
Earlier, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said that OFWs can have a wide range of benefits from SSS if they pay their monthly contribution.
If an OFW is paying the maximum monthly SSS contribution of Php1,760 (Dh121.8) for at least 10 years, he/she will be entitled to the following:
– Basic monthly pension amounting to at least P6,400 upon retirement, disability or death, with an additional monthly benefit of P1,000
– Other benefits for pensioners like 13th month pension, dependents pension, and supplemental monthly allowance of P500 for disability pensioners
– Short-term benefits in the form of cash allowances for sickness (up to P57,600 per year)
– Maternity allowance for female members (up to P32,000 for normal delivery/miscarriage and P41,600 for caesarian delivery)
– Funeral grant amounting to at least P20,000
– Salary loan of up to P32,000
– Direct housing loan of up to P2-million
– In case of death, 100% of their pension will be transferred to their spouse and dependent children as primary beneficiaries
Members who will not be able to complete the 10-year contribution minimum can ask for refund of all their contributions.