Philippines to make social security for overseas Filipinos mandatory

Over 10 million Overseas Filipino Workers are planning to go back to the Philippines upon retirement. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 October 2018
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Philippines to make social security for overseas Filipinos mandatory

  • In the current system, OFWs are not obligated to pay contributions to the state-pension fund
  • Monthly contribution will increase to 15 percent by 2025

DUBAI: Contributions to the Philippines’ state-run pension fund is soon to be mandatory for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), local media reported.

The government has approved a new law to repeal the 21-year-old Social Security Law, extending compulsory coverage of the Social Security System (SSS) to OFWs under the age of 60.

The new policy also introduces a progressive increase in monthly contributions to 15 percent from the current 11 percent by 2025.

In the current system, OFWs are not obligated to pay contributions to the SSS, which all private employees in the Philippines contribute to regularly.

“Right now, despite the huge number of OFWs – some say there are some 10 million of them at present – we only cover some 550,000 of them. So this law will mandatorily cover all the OFWs to ensure their social security protection,” SSS President Emmanuel Dooc said.

The new legislation is seen to increase OFW membership to the SSS to 2.5 million, according to a Philippine senator.

A local official ensured the cooperation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment, who are tasked to “negotiate for the OFWs, especially those working in Middle East countries while enhancing the functions of the Philippine embassies therein to enable them to collect the SSS contributions.”


Fire sweeps through Bangladesh slum, nine dead

Updated 52 min 20 sec ago
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Fire sweeps through Bangladesh slum, nine dead

  • Fires regularly break out in Bangladesh’s slums, where millions live in squalid living conditions

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh: A fire tore through a slum in southern Bangladesh on Sunday killing at least 9 people and destroying hundreds of shanty homes, police said.
The blaze broke out in the port city of Chittagong at about 3.30 A.M. and raced through the district of bamboo, tin and tarpaulin homes, said local police chief Pranab Chowdhury.
“At least 470 shanties were destroyed by the fire. So far 9 people have died. They included four members of a family,” fire brigade official Hefazatul Islam said.
Fires regularly break out in Bangladesh’s slums, where millions live in squalid living conditions.
Rights groups have in the past alleged some shanty town blazes were deliberate acts of sabotage by developers seeking to free up property to construct multi-story buildings.
“We have seen fires are used as a weapon to evict poor slum dwellers and squatters from government or private property,” rights activist Nur Khan Liton said.