Senate Bill No. xxx / Committee Report No. xxx
Rationalizing and expanding the powers and duties of the Social Security Commission to ensure the long-term viability of the Social Security System
May 15, 2018 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon
Session Hall, Senate of the Philippines, Pasay City
Delivered by HON. WIN GATCHALIAN, Senator of the Republic:
Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, good afternoon to you all
Mula pagkabata, ipinapaliwanag na ng aking mga magulang ang halaga ng bawat desisyon o kilos na aking ginagawa, at ang maaaring epekto nito sa hinaharap. At isa na marahil sa mga tumatak na pangaral nila ay ang kahalagahan ng pag-iimpok. Hindi sa lahat ng panahon, sagana tayo. May mga araw na kung saan tayo ay susubukan ng buhay, higit sa mga sandaling hindi natin inaasahan. Kaya nga tama lang ang kasabihang, “pag may isinuksok, may madudukot”, dahil sa buhay na ito, lahat ng bagay, ika nga, ay “weather-weather lang”.
It is for this reason that aside from our personal savings and investments, we rely on government for social protection on days we are in dire need of support, most especially during unexpected moments like tragedy, financial burden or income loss. A law on social security has been established by the government in order for workers to mandatorily put a portion of their hard-earned money, which they or any of their beneficiaries will receive at some point in the future in form of monthly pension. However, the changing economic climate has drastically lessened the value of this hard-earned money through the surging rates of inflation over the years.
With this consideration, Mr. President, I stand before this august chamber in support of a measure that would ensure the viability of the Social Security System (SSS) through initiatives for its expansion and rationalization. Senate Bill No. xxx institutionalizes the administration’s previous memorandum order that mandates the release of an additional monthly allowance amounting to Php 1,000 to all pensioner-members of the SSS.
This amount will serve as a valuable addition to the budget of every retirees’ household in coping with the rising prices of basic goods and services. By giving them this additional monthly pension, we are actually increasing their purchasing power, in recognition of their long years of sacrifice as members of the workforce.
Interestingly, Mr. President, this bill also recognizes the significant contribution of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Filipino seafarers in helping keep our economy afloat, and as such they will now also be included as mandatory members of SSS. With this, the SSS is expecting an increase in the number of contributions from the reported 20% who are already paying-members.
In addition, this bill strengthens and expands the role of the SS Commission in its mission to promote social justice through the rightful dispensation of its additional duties, which include its annual reporting to both houses of Congress on the status and details of employers with penalty delinquencies, and the Commission’s duty to determine the minimum and maximum monthly salary credits of member-employees, among others.
Truly, this measure exemplifies our government’s commitment in bridging the gaps in our current policy framework on social security for it to remain a trustworthy partner of its members in ensuring that they would have the appropriate contingencies in times of urgent need or retirement.
I sincerely hope, Mr. President, that this piece of policy reform measure would see its light of day. I join the principal sponsor, Senator Gordon, and the other sponsors in advocating for swift action on this bill.
Thank you very much.