A lawmaker urged the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization to probe the “legality and necessity” of implementing increases in the monthly contribution of members of the Social Security System (SSS) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
In House Resolution 777 filed on February 5, Rep. Terry Ridon of Kabataan party-list said that the twin contribution increases pose “additional burdens through additional deductions in monthly wages and salaries of workers.”
Ridon noted that both government-owned companies are not bankrupt, and that improved benefits for both members of SSS and PhilHealth need not translate to higher contribution rates.
“Both companies were in the news not so long ago because of the fat bonuses their executives were receiving. How can companies of this nature feign bankruptcy?” Ridon asked.
Starting January 1, SSS enforced a 0.6-percent hike in monthly contributions, increasing the previous 10.4 percent monthly salary credit to 11 percent. Employers will shoulder 7.37 percent of this contribution rate, while employees will account for the remaining 3.63 percent.
SSS officials defended the increase, saying that it would extend the “actuarial life” or the years that it can pay off future benefits of its members, and at the same time increase benefits of its members. SSS also said that under the old contribution rate, the social security firm was going under.
Meanwhile, PhilHealth has also implemented a contribution hike through PhilHealth Circular 27 s. 2013. According to the document, individually-paying PhilHealth members with a monthly income of P25,000 and below will now pay a premium rate of P2,400 annually.
PhilHealth members earning less than P9,000 a month will now pay P200 a month, with the cost divided equally between employee and employer. This translates to P12.50 to P37.50 increase in employee payout per month.
The PhilHealth management justified the said increase by explaining that it would result in better assistance and benefits for PhilHealth members.
With the new schedule, PhilHealth members will now be entitled to in-patient hospital care including “all case rate packages and catastrophic illnesses in the Case Type Z Benefit Package, out-patient coverage and other special benefit packages under the National Health Insurance Program.”