Senate adopts social security pact with Japan

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THE Senate adopted on Monday an agreement between the Philippines and Japan that seeks to protect the social security rights of overseas Filipinos (OFWs) by enabling them and their family to have access to social security benefits.

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With 18 affirmative votes, the Senate approved Senate Resolution (SR) 283 that concurred the ratification of a social security agreement between the two countries. The agreement will benefit 377,233 Filipinos in Japan and 17,021 Japanese in the Philippines.

The Philippines-Japan Social Security Agreement was signed on November 19, 2015 in Manila and ratified by the Philippine President on January 12, 2017.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and sponsor of Resolution 283, said the agreement sought to coordinate the pension programs for people who live or work in the Philippines and Japan.

Those covered by their respective social security systems will continue to receive the benefits due them whether they reside in the Philippines, Japan or elsewhere.

“Upon the entry into force of this agreement, employees temporarily dispatched for a period of five years or less to the other country will be covered by the pension system of the country from which these employees were dispatched,” Cayetano explained.

Senate President pro-tempore Franklin Drilon, co-sponsor of the resolution, said that OFWs face territorial or nationality-based restrictions which deny them access to social security benefits because many receiving states do not cover foreign workers under their social security schemes, leaving Filipino workers with no access to basic safety nets while working abroad.

The agreement, he added, adopted and codified the fundamental principles of international coordination of social security legislation such as equality of treatment which entitled the covered person in one state, his family members and survivors to social security benefits under the same conditions as nationals of the other state.

The Philippines has similar agreements with Austria, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Spain, France, Canada, Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. Jefferson Antiporda

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