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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Gordon proposes bill granting power to the president to defer SSS contribution increase during nat’l emergencies

Senator Richard J. Gordon, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, proposed a bill granting the President of the Republic the power to defer the increases in contributions of the Social Security System (SSS) in times of declared national emergency or state of calamity.

“The President should be given the authority during times of national emergencies such as this pandemic to defer the payment of increased rates by the members of the SSS. Walang pambayad ang mga tao dahil may pandemya. Gusto nating matulungan ang mga nahihirapan,” Gordon said on Tuesday during the committee hearing on the proposed measure.

“My position, therefore, would be to 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 stressed.

The bill amending Section 4(a)(9) of R.A. 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.

“We want to look into giving our people financial breathing space to be able to adjust to the on-going national emergency, while we also take into consideration SSS’ financial viability. Ito ay karagdagang assistance para sa tao dahil sa batas na ginawa natin, sa RA 11199, mayroon na rin tayong financial breathing space para sa mga nawalan ng trabaho ngayong pandemic tulad ng unemployment benefit na nagkakahalaga ng Php 20,000. With many businesses closing and employees losing their jobs, people need every bit of help they can get,” said Gordon.

He also pointed out that while deferring the increase in contributions is the fastest way to respond to the problem, the SSS can lobby and appeal to the President anytime.