Group says 'hopeful' of Marcos intervention on SSS, PhilHealth contribution hike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 09 2022 10:09 AM | Updated as of Dec 09 2022 11:44 AM

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Employers Confederation of the Philippines President Sergio Ortiz Luis on Friday said they are hopeful that President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. could postpone the scheduled hike in Social Security System and Philippine Health Insurance Service contributions next year. 

The increases are mandated by law. But Ortiz-Luis said they have previously requested Congress for an amendment. It was not acted upon by the previous administration. 

"Noong isang taon… pumupunta kami sa Kongreso at ang Kongreso nag-issue ng authority to the President na pwede niya galawin o i-postpone yung pagtataas. Unfortunately hindi naman ginawa ng presidente noon," he said.

(Last year, we went to Congress and the Congress issued an authority to the President that he may adjust or postpone the increase. Unfortunately, it was not done by the previous president.)

"Hopefully nandoon pa yata ang authority noon, kung makikita ng presidente natin nagaan na pwedeng hindi pa magtaas, hopefully pwede niya i-hold," he said. 

(Hopefully, the authority is still there If the new president can see it. Maybe it's possible to hold off on the increase. Hopefully, he can postpone it)

Increasing the monthly premium while inflation remains escalated will hurt both the workers and small businesses, he said. 

Inflation in November hit 8 percent, or double the upper limit of the government's 2 to 4 percent target range. 

Rising prices also result in underemployment or more workers needing more jobs and job hours to make ends meet, he said.

Although the jobless rate in October eased to 4.5 percent in October from 5.2 percent in July, the underemployment rate rose 14.2 percent, up from 13.8 percent in July, according to government data.