SSS Vows Social Security Protection for Seafarers

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The Social Security System (SSS) and the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC)

The Social Security System (SSS) has taken a significant step towards ensuring the social security coverage of Filipino seafarers and maritime professionals. By joining forces with other concerned sectors, the SSS has formed the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC). This newly created council aims to safeguard the welfare of seafarers and their families by providing them with financial aid for various circumstances such as disability, sickness, maternity, unemployment, old age, funeral, and death.

SSS President’s Commitment to Seafarers

Rolando Macasaet, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the SSS, has made a strong commitment to prioritize the well-being of seafarers and their families. He urges all Filipino seafarers to become members of the SSS, emphasizing the significant benefits of having social security protection. Macasaet commends the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), led by Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac, for spearheading the creation of the MITC. He firmly believes that this council can effectively address maritime employment concerns and advance the protection of the approximately 350,000 Filipino seafarers who are SSS members.

Ensuring a Secure Future through SSS Membership

Becoming an SSS member is a crucial step for seafarers in securing their future. By making a minimum of 120 monthly SSS contributions, seafarers become eligible for a lifetime monthly pension upon retirement. Macasaet emphasizes that contributing to the SSS is an investment in their future. In addition to retirement benefits, employed SSS members, including seafarers, are entitled to sickness, maternity, disability, unemployment, funeral, and death benefits.

Additional Benefits and Loan Programs

SSS member-seafarers can also take advantage of various loan programs offered by the SSS, such as salary and calamity loans. Furthermore, they can receive additional coverage from the Employees’ Compensation Program for work-related sickness or injury resulting in disability or death. Macasaet explains that seafarers can receive this additional coverage as a lump sum if their contributions and investment income are less than P100,000. If the total amount reaches or exceeds P100,000, they can receive a combination of a lump sum and a monthly pension or a fixed monthly annuity, which will be released together with their regular monthly pension.

Flexible Contribution Options

Macasaet highlights that SSS members can contribute as little as P500 per payment whenever they want to receive this additional layer of social security protection. This flexibility allows seafarers to tailor their contributions according to their financial capabilities and needs.

The Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC)

Under the MITC, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) serves as its chairman, ensuring the welfare and protection of seafarers. The council consists of various government sectors, including the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Commission on Higher Education, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), and National Telecommunications Commission.

Representing the labor sector are groups such as the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines, and International Seamen’s Mutual Labor Association. On the other hand, the sector is represented by the Conference of Maritime Manning Agencies, Filipino Shipowners Association, Filipino Association for Mariners Employment Inc., and International Maritime Association of the Philippines, among others.

By forming the MITC and bringing together various stakeholders, the SSS and the government aim to create a comprehensive support system for Filipino seafarers. This collaborative effort ensures that seafarers receive the necessary protection and benefits they deserve throughout their careers and into retirement.

In conclusion, the establishment of the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC) by the Social Security System (SSS) is a significant development for Filipino seafarers and maritime professionals. Through this council, the SSS aims to provide social security coverage and financial aid to seafarers and their families in various circumstances. The commitment of SSS President Rolando Macasaet and the collaboration with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) demonstrate the dedication to address maritime employment concerns and protect the welfare of Filipino seafarers. By becoming SSS members, seafarers can secure their future through retirement benefits and access to various forms of financial assistance. The flexibility in contribution options and additional coverage further enhance the social security protection provided by the SSS. With the support of the MITC and the involvement of relevant government sectors and labor organizations, the SSS aims to create a comprehensive support system that prioritizes the welfare and protection of Filipino seafarers.

Source: The Manila Times

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