There is another good news for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) this coming year. Once President Rodrigo Duterte signs the bill into a law, those OFWs, landbased and sea-based, who are below 60 years of age will automatically become members and beneficiaries of the Social Security Systems (SSS).
The Senate adopted the bicameral committee’s version of the “Social Security Act of 2018” authored by Senator Richard Gordon, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, among others.
The bill requires SSS coverage for both land-based and sea-based OFWs given that they are under the age of 60. It also tasks the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment as the primary agencies that “would negotiate for the OFWs, especially those working in Middle East countries”.
The said bill also seeks to expand the function of the Philippine embassies in different countries abroad to enable them to collect the contributions of OFWs.
Currently, only 500,000 OFWs are covered by SSS. With the new bill in place, this number is targeted to increase to 2.5 million.