The Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises conducted a hearing on bills seeking to amend Republic Act No. 8282 to give the state-run Social Security System (SSS) more powers to enable it to grow their funds.
Senator Dick Gordon, committee chair, noted that the fund life of the SSS was shortened by ten years due to the across the board increase in pension fund payment of P1,000/month. Thus, there is a need for the SSS to find ways to ensure continuous pension fund viability to serve members in perpetuity.
“Aside from being more aggressive in getting more members, the SSS should be given the leeway to invest its funds in worthwhile endeavors so it can generate more resources so that our people will receive more than a paltry amount when they retire or when they die. I think this is one of the legacies that any country should aim for,” Gordon said.
The veteran legislator said that the hearing also aimed to determine compulsory coverage for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs); and the appropriateness of providing unemployment insurance benefit for covered employees.
“The volatility of the working conditions of OFWs make them more vulnerable to the contingencies sought to be guarded against by the SSS. Thus, compulsory social security coverage should be extended to the OFWs,” the seasoned lawmaker explained.
“We propose that the SSS should provide unemployment insurance enough to meet the family’s basic needs while the breadwinner is unemployed and is seeking employment.” the senior senator also said.
Those invited to the hearing from the government sector were Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez; Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno; Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III; Samuel Dagpin, chairman of the Government Commission for GOCCs; and Alex Avila, OIC-Executive Director of the National Wages and Productivity Commission.
From the SSS, invited were Chairman Amado Valdez; Emmanuel Dooc, President & CEO, George Ongkeko Jr., Senior Vice President & Chief Actuary; and the commissioners of the SSS. Donald Dee, president of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines, was also invited to represent the private sector