Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III expressed support to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s grant of Social Security System’s across-the-board pension increase, saying the additional amount is a much-deserved incentive for the two-million pensioners’ most fruitful years in service.

Bello said workers’ additional contribution to the SSS, which will fund the pension increase, should be considered as their long-term savings, and not an expense.

In May this year, a 1.5 percent increase in contribution will be implemented or 12.5 percent from the current 11 percent. In peso value, the additional total contribution will range from P15-P740, equally shared by employer and employee.

“We must bear in mind that an actively paying SSS member can avail of social benefits and loan privileges,” Bello said.

SSS is putting in place measures to ensure fund sustainability, including legal actions to reduce contribution delinquency, and executive intervention needed to improve collection.

Bello said DOLE will continuously observe stricter implementation of the Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS), specifically on monitoring the establishments’ compliance with mandated social benefits, particularly, SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig payments and remittances.

“This is one way of safeguarding and protecting the rights of our workers. It is also the employers’ legal and moral responsibility to their employees,” he said.

Apart from assessing the establishment’s compliance to General Labor Standards (GLS), DOLE regional offices also check if employers follow the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS) and other related labor laws and issuances. This covers provisions on wages, hours of work and other non-monetary benefits as well as the standards that refer to the conditions of work premises, required personal protective equipment (PPE) and health programs, and other related laws dealing with occupational safety and health.

The LLCS also puts in check the workplace’s observance of labor rights and key indicators in the country’s decent work profile such as observance of minimum wage, overtime pay, holiday pay, night shift differential pay, service incentive leave pay, 13th month pay and other monetary benefits prescribed by law.

The OSHS on the other hand checks if the establishment is registered with the DOLE, implements the use of personal protective equipment, has an established safety and health committee, and complies, among others, with the administrative reports on safety and health. # # #

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