ILO supports SSS coverage Yolanda rehab workers

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The International Labor Organization (ILO) will provide the Philippine Social Security System (SSS) a grant equivalent to three months’ worth of SSS contributions for about 6,160 workers who will be hired under an Emergency Employment Program in provinces devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year.

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Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed last month, the emergency workers will be paid the prevailing minimum wage and shall be registered as self-employed SSS members. The SSS will ensure that the ILO grant goes into their SSS contributions. In addition, the ILO will also cover the cost of the workers’ contributions to Philhealth.

“We are very fortunate that government agencies, non-government organizations, and international institutions such as the ILO have banded together to provide means for the affected people to recover,” SSS Senior Vice President for Accounts Management Judy Frances See said.

The short-term jobs, which will be for a minimum of 15 days, involve the debris-clearing of roads, declogging of drainage systems, preparation of agricultural land for planting, and basic repair of public offices and health facilities.

Most of the emergency workers are based in Tacloban and Ormoc, while others are from Coron, Cebu, Bohol and Negros. According to the ILO, its approach goes beyond short-term emergency employment as the program is intended to transition to medium-term, labor-based community work, skills training and enterprise development.

The SSS said it will deploy its personnel to the affected areas to assist the emergency workers with the registration process, and ensure that the ILO subsidy will be duly credited to the workers’ SSS accounts.

The SSS-ILO collaboration is part of local and international efforts to help the affected communities recover from the disaster, and is expected to continue for victims of other calamities in the future.

The MOU was signed by ILO Country Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson and See.

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