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SSS, DMW advance protection for Pinoy seafarers

THE SOCIAL Security System (SSS) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) for the creation of the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC) to ensure coverage of all seafarers and maritime professionals. 

During the signing ceremony held on May 3, SSS president and CEO Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said the council’s creation was a testament to the unified commitment to address maritime employment concerns and advance the protection of Filipino seafarers.

“With this agreement, SSS commits itself to promote the welfare of Filipino seafarers and their families by providing them with financial assistance during contingencies such as disability, sickness, maternity, unemployment, old age, funeral, and death,” Macasaet said.

According to their records, around 350,000 seafarers are members of SSS.

Macasaet also urged seafarers to pay at least P120 monthly SSS contributions to receive a lifetime monthly pension once they have retired.

He added that they can also take advantage of various SSS loan programs, such as salary and calamity, and get additional coverage from the Employees’ Compensation (EC) Program for work-related sickness or injury resulting in disability, or death.

“Since seafarers are contributing to the regular SSS program with a Monthly Salary Credit (MSC) that exceeds P20,000, they are automatically enrolled in the Workers’ Investment and Savings Program (WISP),” he said.

Under this compulsory provident fund scheme, he said each contributing member will have an account wherein SSS will place their contributions and investment earnings. Members also pay their WISP contributions with their regular SSS contributions, which they would get at the time of their retirement, with a monthly annuity, if their WISP savings exceed P100,000.

Likewise, Macasaet stressed that seafarers should also WISP Plus, the SSS voluntary retirement savings program, which is also a benefit, giving seafarers the power to choose and plan for their retirement, in addition to the retirement pension from the regular social security program and annuity from the WISP.

Macasaet explained that members can contribute as little as P500 per payment whenever they want to receive this additional layer of social security protection.

The DMW will serve as the Maritime Industry Tripartite Council chairperson, leading the efforts to ensure the welfare and protection of seafarers. Members from the government sector include SSS, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Health, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Commission on Higher Education, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), and National Telecommunications Commission.

Members representing the labor sector include the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines, the International Seamen’s Mutual Labor Association, the Mariners and Allied Transport Employees Union, Associated Philippine Seafarers Unions, Porty Workers Union of the Philippines, Federation of Free Workers, and United Filipino Seafarers.


–Contributed photo from SSS


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