Senator Richard J. Gordon has urged the Social Security System (SSS) to submit to the Senate proposals on how to suspend the implementation of the 2021 contribution increase without shortening the SSS’ fund life.
“While there is a need and the law mandates an increase in SSS contributions in 2021, we see that this is untimely, especially at a time when businesses are down. When RA 11199 was enacted, our lawmakers had no inkling that a pandemic would occur and greatly affect our economy),” said Gordon, who chairs the Senate Committee on Government Corporation and Public Enterprises.
He noted that data from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) show that losses in sales reached P5.2 trillion in the first half of the year alone.
“It’s only halfway through the year and this is already higher than the 2021 budget of P4.5 trillion. We need to balance the interest of the people who are greatly affected by the pandemic as well and the interest to protect the funds of the SSS),” he stressed.
Gordon acknowledged the difficulty of stopping the 2021 contribution increase, saying that a new law may be needed as the increase is specifically mandated in RA 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, which also has no provision that empowers the SSS to stop it.
“We would discuss this at the committee and if necessary, we would craft a new law to make it easy for the people to get through the hardships while continuing to pay their SSS contributions,” he said.
RA 1199 was enacted on February 7, 2019 to protect the fund life of the SSS, which was shortened by 10 years from 2042 to 2032 due to the approved P1,000 additional benefit for qualified SSS retirees, survivors, and permanently disabled pensioners, given by President Duterte under a memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated Februart 22, 2017.