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EO suspending hike in SSS contributions sought

/ 04:05 AM September 30, 2021

Business and labor leaders are asking President Duterte to immediately issue an executive order (EO) that would defer the increase in the members’ monthly contributions to the Social Security System (SSS), which are shared by the employees and the employers.

Signed in May this year, Republic Act No. 11548, which amended the Social Security Act of 2018, gave the President the power to defer increases in SSS contributions in times of national emergency and for the duration of a state of calamity.

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In a joint letter dated Sept. 27, the heads of 10 business and labor groups appealed to the President to immediately issue the EO, which they said was necessary to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) continue operating during the prolonged pandemic. The President placed the country under a state of calamity up to September 2022.

Despite this and four months after RA No. 11548 was signed, an EO has yet to be issued.

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The letter noted that the scheduled increase in SSS premium for this year, to 13 percent from 12 percent, already took effect in January 2021. The groups were hoping the implementation of the January increase could still be suspended. The next increases were scheduled for 2023 and 2025.

“We were informed by the SSS that it was still waiting for (the EO),” the letter read.

“It is in this light that we are constrained to write the President for urgent action on this request for deferment. We have yet to fully re-open and many have lost their income sources either permanently or temporarily,” it added. The letter was signed by top officials these business groups: Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines.

It was also signed by officials of these labor groups: Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Federation of Free Workers, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa and Partido Manggagawa.“Postponing the implementation of the higher SSS premium will be a critical recovery measure as it will help sustain the cash flow especially of the MSMEs,” they said. INQ

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