The Senate on Monday passed a bill granting President Rodrigo Duterte the power to defer the increases in contribution to the Social Security System (SSS) while the nation is still under public health emergency under Proclamation No. 922, as amended by Proclamation No. 1021.
“Thank you to all our colleagues who contributed to this wonderful opportunity to alleviate the suffering of our people even for a short while,” said Senator Richard J. Gordon, chair of the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, and author of Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2027.
During his sponsorship speech for the bill, Gordon said the measure will give SSS members the financial breathing space to be able to adjust to the ongoing national emergency, while also taking into consideration the state-run insurer’s financial viability.
“People have no money to pay because of the pandemic. We want to help those having difficulty. We should make the SSS law nimbler and leave the deferment of contribution increase for the President to decide, provided that there is a consultation with the SSS and affected stakeholders,” he said partly in Filipino.
SBN 2027 that amends Section 4(a)(9) of Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 states that deferment of the rise in contributions shall only be in effect for a limited period of six months, which may be extended for another six months.
“This is additional assistance to the SSS members. We already have financial breathing space for those who lost jobs at this time of pandemic such as the unemployment benefit worth P20,000. With many businesses closing and employees losing their jobs, people need every bit of help they can get,” Gordon said partly in Filipino.
While deferring the increase in contributions is the fastest way to respond to the problem, he said the SSS can lobby and appeal to the President anytime.
SBN 2027 is a consolidated measure of SBN 1970 filed by Gordon, SBN 1965 filed by Senators Joel Villanueva and Sherwin Gatchalian, and SBN 1996 filed by Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.