MANILA - The Social Security System (SSS) needs to raise members' contribution rate to support additional benefits under a proposal to increase the number of paid maternity leaves, an official said Thursday.
The House of Representatives earlier this week approved on third and final reading a bill increasing the number of days of maternity leave to 100 from the current 60 days for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarian operation.
In the first half of 2018 alone, the SSS released some P3.3 billion in maternity benefit payment, said Louie Sebastian, the agency's assistant vice president for media affairs.
This amount would spike by about 52 percent if bill extending paid maternity leaves is passed into law, she told radio DZMM.
Lawmakers, she said, should increase membership contribution to 11.3 percent from the current 11 percent to raise funds for additional maternity benefit payment.
Failure to do so will force SSS to use money meant for investments, which will shorten the agency's fund life by a year to 2031, Sebastian warned.
The House of Representatives' proposed maternity leave extension is 20 days short of the Senate's version of the bill, which proposes 120 days of maternity leave, and an additional 30 days for solo working mothers.
The House and the Senate still have to reconcile their versions of the bill before it can be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law.