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by | News, TOP STORIES

Feb. 20, 19 | 8:18 pm

‘Hindi siya ganung kalaki – nag e-earn tayo ng dirhams dito so mas madaling mag-contribute compared sa mga nasa Pilipinas who are earning less’

DUBAI: For the first time in years, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be required to make regular payments to the Philippine Social Security System by virtue of Republic Act 11199 that President Duterte has signed.

The Social Security Act of 2019 will serve as a guiding post to enhance the services provided by the Social Security System (SSS) as well as replenish its funds, according to Senator Richard Gordon, one of the bill’s authors.

He had previously told Philippine media that the measure’s passage would “expand, protect and increase the SSS fund so that when the time comes, there would be available pension for the people.”

The SSS, as its name implies, is a security blanket against contingencies that cause huge financial burdens including disability, sickness, maternity, old age and death, among others.

Mandated

Implementing rules and regulations for the new law, which also overhauls at SSS, has yet to be finalized.

An SSS official told The Filipino Times this measure would be beneficial for OFWs who oftentimes forget or worse, dismiss the benefits that SSS could provide. “Yung mga kababayan natin sa ngayon, yun yung isa sa mga nakakalimutan nila na hulugan o ipagpatuloy yung SSS nila. Pagdating nila sa Pilipinas, pag nag retire – walang makukuhang pension kasi hindi qualified hindi nagtuloy,” the official, whose name is being withheld, said.

(SSS contributions are one of the things OFWs usually forget or skip; and so they get no pension when they return home for good.)

There are only a few OFWs out of almost a million who live in the UAE that pay their SSS dues on a regular basis. “Given na sobrang dami ng OFWs sa Middle East, ang average lang namin na payors dito is 4000-5000 a month. Ganun kaliit,” the official said. (Given the fact that we have so many OFWs in the Middle East, we only have 4,000 to 5,000 who pay. It’s that small.)

As per a Senate report, only 500,000 OFWs throughout the world pay for their SSS dues.

Perception

Meantime, top SSS officials said OFWs are in a much better position to pay for their SSS contributions compared to Filipinos back home.

“Hindi siya ganung kalaki – nag e-earn ang mga OFWs sa UAE ng dirhams. So mas madaling mag-contribute compared sa mga nasa Pilipinas who are earning less,” one official also said. (The payment is not that big. OFWs in the UAE earn dirhams. So, it is much easier to make payments compared to those in the Philippines.)

Think for the long haul

The OFWs who set aside money to invest in themselves through the SSS effectively secures emergency cushion from financial distress. “Hindi naman habambuhay they are OFWs. Uuuwi’t uuwi tayo sa Pilipinas so kailangan habang nandirito tayo, you have to invest para kung may kailanganin man tayo, kung magkasakit or manganak man si babae, they can avail of the benefits,” said an SSS official.

(We will not be OFWs forever. We should prepare for our retirement and other eventualities while we are still working abroad so that when something happens – sickness or pregnancy, for instance – we can avail of the benefits.)

The pension that SSS members will receive when they hit the age of retirement will not end when they perish, but will continue on for their spouses and their beneficiaries.

Self help guide: How do I pay for my SSS contribution?

The new SSS law that makes it obligatory for all OFWs to pay for their SSS contributions on a monthly basis. As it nears its implementation, here are the necessary steps that you would have to include on your monthly routine to make sure you don’t miss your payment.

Secure your reference number

The first step for SSS members to pay for their contribution would be to secure a Payment Reference Number. SSS members can do this by going to the nearest SSS branch or by sending an email to [email protected]

Visit SSS-accredited centre

After securing your Payment Reference Number, you can now proceed to any of the SSS-linked remittance centres available across the UAE including UAE Exchange, Orient Exchange, Al Rostamani, or Al Ghurair Exchange. Members have the option to pay for monthly, quarterly, yearly. Those paying yearly can opt for a maximum of five years’ payment.

Those two steps are all you need to secure your SSS contribution for the month. As per the released the new minimum rate will be Php 240 9 (Dh 16.64) while the maximum will by Php 2400 (Dh 168.42) per month. Actual rates will depend following the implementing rules and regulations that SSS will advise. Officials suggest paying for the maximum contribution for the members to secure the maximum benefits in the long term.

By the Numbers: How much will OFWs now pay for their SSS Coverage

With the upcoming implementation of the Social Security Act of 2019, many Filipino expats have wondered exactly how much they will now have to pay, especially now that it’s mandatory. Here’s a quick glimpse of a few estimates which OFWs will need to pay to get their mandatory coverage.

MONTHLY RATES

* Dh 1 = Php 14.25

SOURCE: The Social Security Act of 2019

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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