In the new implementing rules and regulations of SSS Charter, all sea-based and land-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are obliged to become a member.
They are also planning to include it in the processing of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). New hires need to pay for the one month contribution while rehires are required to pay at least 3 months contributions.
OFW will have to pay PhP2,400 as their monthly contribution because their minimum wage is PhP20,000. This means that new hires will have to pay PhP2,400 and rehires will be paying PhP7,200 equivalent to 3 months.
Overseas Filipino Workers in Saudi Arabia is complaining as this 3 months voluntary payment is hard to find. However, POEA is suggesting to not make this as a requirement to process papers for OFWs to leave the country.
“Ang ibig bang sabihin pag wala kang bayad ng premium ng SSS, wala ka nang trabaho? Eh ang concept ng SSS is ang protection ng future,” says Lita Hizon, Governing Board Member of POEA.
The POEA governing board also believes that a bilateral labor agreement must be made so employers can shoulder half of the contribution of OFWs.
“Nakikinig ang POEA, ibig sabihin din nun nasa tama kami kasi hindi naman talaga pwede na SSS lang mag-dedesisyon,” says Susan Ople, Ople Policy Center.
However, SSS maintains that this mandatory contribution for OFWs will benefit them as well as their families.