Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Deferment of SSS rate hike sought

CIBAC Party-list Representative Eddie Villanueva and Representative Domeng Rivera filed on January 5, 2021 House Bill 8304, which seeks to defer the expected rate hike this year in Social Security System (SSS) premium contributions.

The measure amends Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, which mandates that the employers' and employees' share to SSS contributions shall be increased to 8.5 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively -- an increase of 0.5 percent from last year's level in both employers and employees share.

The is aimed to defer the mandated increase this year and even provides that increases in SSS rates as provided by the law shall be suspended in the event of a pandemic.

"The truth is that both laborers and employers suffered from the debilitating blow of the pandemic and therefore must be provided not only with necessary government assistance but also of needed reprieve from statutory salary deductions such as the SSS premium contribution. The deferment in SSS rate hike means undiminished level of disposable income for our Filipino workers and employers which will help them cope and survive these hard times," said Villanueva, House Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness.

According to Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey firm, about 27.3 million Filipinos or 45.5 percent of the labor force lost their jobs during the pandemic.

The bill also provides that even those who have managed to keep their jobs suffered reduced pays as companies are forced to cut costs or downsize in order to keep afloat.

"We thus call on Congress to pass with dispatch this much-needed legislation so that millions of Filipino employers and employees can be given enough space for them to get fully back on their feet," Villanueva said.

Rivera said that House Bill 8304 aims to serve as a counterpart measure of a similar bill filed by Senator Joel Villanueva at the Senate.

"House Bill 8304 complements the bill filed by Senator [Joel] Villanueva in the Senate because we want Congress to swiftly act on this concern which is an appeal from various business and labor groups. By having counterpart measures being simultaneously deliberated in both chambers of Congress, we expect an expeditious passage of this measure which we believe is very much-needed by our fellow Filipinos who are grappling for survival amidst this pandemic," Rivera added.


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