AN ACT FURTHER STRENGTHENING THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM THEREBY AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1161, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE SOCIAL SECURITY LAW. “The social security system is aimed at providing protection for the SSS member against socially recognized hazard conditions”Republic Act No. 8282, otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 1997, refers to the social security system in the Philippines that is initiated, developed and promoted by its Government. This social security system is aimed at providing protection for the SSS member against socially recognized hazard conditions, such as sickness, disability, maternity, old age and death, or other such contingencies not stated but resulted in loss of income or results to a financial burden. Towards that goal, the Social Security Act of 1997 also endeavors to extend the social security system not only to the SSS member but also to his/her beneficiaries.
The Social Security Act of 1997 is compulsory to the employee who is under the age of sixty (60) and his/her monthly income exceeds the value of one thousand pesos per month (P1, 000). Non-employed Filipino citizens, such as spouses who are devoted to full-time duties of managing the household or other family affairs may voluntarily cover themselves for the social security system. Employees who are recruited by foreign-based employers may voluntarily cover themselves for the social security system in Philippines.
The Social Security Act of 1997 is compulsory to the self-employed. Under such rules and regulations determined by the Commission, a self-employed worker has compulsory coverage if he/she is a professional, he/she is in a single (or in a partnership) proprietorship business, is an actor and actress who doesn’t necessarily fall within the definition of the term employee (according to Section 8 of the Social Security Act), professional athlete, trainer, coach, or jockey, or a fisherman or a farmer.
The effective start of an SSS member’s coverage will take effect on the employee’s first day of his/her employment, or for the employer, his/her first day of operation.
The Retirement Benefit is granted when an employee retires from work upon reaching the retirement age established in the collective bargaining agreement or other applicable employment contract.
The Death Benefit is granted in event of the deceased SSS member’s beneficiaries, receiving from the System an amount equivalent to the deceased member’s monthly income benefit, plus a ten percent (10%) fraction of the death benefit thereof for every listed dependent child, with the list not exceeding five, beginning with the youngest to the oldest. The list may not be substituted nor appended.
The Disability Benefit is granted depending on the severity of the disability claim which is to be determined by the Medical Director of the System and approved by the Employees’ Compensation Commission. Articles 191, 192 and 193 of the Philippine Labor Code cover the different degrees of the disability and the benefits accompanying them.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8291
AN ACT AMENDING PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1146, AS AMENDED, EXPANDING AND INCREASING THE COVERAGE AND BENEFITS OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, INSTITUTING REFORMS THEREIN AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Republic Act 8291 of 30 May 1997 amends provisions of Presidential Decree 1146, as amended, expanding and increasing the coverage and benefits of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). Amendments deal with definitions; compulsory membership; collection and remittance of contributions; benefits; separation benefits; retirement benefits; permanent disability benefits; temporary disability benefits; survivorship benefits; funeral benefits; life insurance benefits; adjudication of claims and disputes; funds of the GSIS; administration; general provisions; penal provisions. It shall be mandatory for the member and employer to pay the monthly contributions specified in the following schedule: “Monthly Compensation Percentage of Monthly Compensation Payable by Member Employer I. Maximum Average
(AMC) Limit and Below 9.0% 12.0% II. Over the Maximum
-Up to the Maximum
AMC Limit 9.0% 12.0% -In Excess of the
AMC Limit 2.0% 12.0% “Members of the judiciary and constitutional commissioners shall pay three percent (3%) of their monthly compensation as personal share and their employers a corresponding three percent (3%) share for their life insurance coverage. The Government Service Insurance System as created under Commonwealth Act No. 186 shall implement the provisions of this Act.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7699
AN ACT INSTITUTING LIMITED PORTABILITY SCHEME IN THE SOCIAL SECURITY INSURANCE SYSTEMS BY TOTALIZING THE WORKERS’ CREDITABLE SERVICES OR CONTRIBUTIONS IN EACH OF THE SYSTEMS. Section 1. It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote the welfare of our workers by recognizing their efforts in productive endeavors and to further improve their conditions by providing benefits for their long years of contribution to the national economy. Towards this end, the State shall institute a scheme for totalization and portability of social security benefits with the view of establishing within a reasonable period a unitary social security system.
Section 2. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms shall mean: (a) “Contributions” shall refer to the contributions paid by the employee or worker to either the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) or the Social Security System (SSS) on account of the worker’s membership; (b) “Portability” shall refer to the transfer of funds for the account and benefit of a worker who transfers from one system to the other; (c) “Sector” shall refer to employment either in the public or private sector; (d) “System” shall refer to either the SSS as created under Republic Act No. 1161, as amended or the GSIS as created under Presidential Decree No. 1146, as amended; and (e) “Totalization” shall refer to the process of adding up the periods of creditable services or contributions under each of the Systems, for purposes of eligibility and computation of benefits.
Section 3. Provisions of any general or special law or rules and regulations to the contrary notwithstanding, a covered worker who transfers employment from one sector to another or is employed in both sectors shall have his credible services or contributions in both Systems credited to his service or contribution record in each of the Systems and shall be totalized for purposes of old-age, disability, survivorship and other benefits in case the covered member does not qualify for such benefits in either or both Systems without totalization: Provided, however, That overlapping periods of membership shall be credited only once for purposes of totalization.
Section 4. All contributions paid by such member personally, and those that were paid by his employers to both Systems shall be considered in the processing of benefits which he can claim from either or both Systems: Provided, however, That the amount of benefits to be paid by one System shall be in proportion to the number of contributions actually remitted to that System.
Section 5. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to diminish or reduce the benefits being enjoyed by a covered worker arising from existing laws, issuances, and company policies or practices or agreements between the employer and the employees.
Section 6. The Department of Labor and Employment for the private sector and the Civil Service Commission for the government sector, together with the SSS and the GSIS shall, within ninety (90) days from the affectivity of this Act, promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions hereof: Provided, That any conflict in the interpretation of the law and the implementing rules and regulations shall be resolved in favor of the workers. Section 7. All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Section 8. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation, whichever comes earlier.
REPUBLIC ACT No. 7875
AN ACT INSTITUTING A NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM FOR ALL FILIPINOS AND ESTABLISHING THE PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORPORATION FOR THE PURPOSE: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled Republic Act No. 7875, approved by President Fidel V. Ramos on February 14, 1995, is known as the “National Health Insurance Act of 1995”. It institutes a National Health Insurance Program for all Filipinos and creates the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and the National Health Insurance Fund. It also provides for a system of grievance and appeal wherein members, dependents or health care providers may seek redress if they think that they have been aggrieved by any decision of the implementors of the Program, and provides penalties for violations of its provisions. Significantly, Section 2 of this Republic Act recognizes that priority should be given to the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children, and that free medical care should be given to paupers. National Health Insurance Program;
all persons eligible for benefits through health insurance plans established by local governments as part of Program II of Medicare or in accordance with the provisions of this Act, including indigents members, shall also be enrolled in the Program; all persons eligible for benefits as members of local health insurance plans established by the Corporation in accordance with the implementing rules and regulations of this Act shall also be deemed to have enrolled in the Program. Enrollment of persons who have no current health insurance coverage shall be given priority by the Corporation; and all persons eligible for benefits as members of other government initiated health insurance programs, community-based health care organizations, cooperatives, or private non-profit health insurance plans shall be enrolled in the Program upon accreditation by the Corporation which shall devise and provide incentives to ensure that such accredited organizations will benefit from their participation in the Program.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7742
“AN ACT AMENDING PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1752, AS AMENDED” Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: AN ACT ALLOWING EMPLOYEES TO AVAIL OF PRE-NEED PLANS AS AN OPTION TO HOME DEVELOPMENT MUTUAL FUND (HDMF) MEMBERSHIP In pursuit of the Constitutional mandate to promote public welfare through the delivery of ample social services, particularly responding to the need for decent shelter, a system of mandatory employee-employer contributions for housing purposes was established through Presidential Decree 1752 otherwise known as the “Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) Law of 1980.” During the term of President Aquino, the fund contributions to the HDMF were temporarily suspended for the purpose of studying how the burden of the lower income earners can be reduced and their benefits increased. After consultation with concerned sectors and by virtue of Executive Order No. 35, the operation if the Fund was continued. In 1994, P.D. 1752 was amended by Republic Act 7742, allowing the Fund to invest not less than seventy percent (70 %) of its investible fund to housing.
The Fund’s primary purpose is to grant a Housing Plan which will provide financial assistance to qualified employees by extending loans for the acquisition of a house/lot, construction or improvement of a house. The Fund also offers a Provident Plan that includes retirement, membership maturity, death, disability / insanity , permanent departure, separation due to health benefits and Additional Death Benefit.
It is apparent that the Provident Benefits offered by the Fund are also being granted by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS) through their Employees Compensation Program.
Statistics reveal that as of September 2003, there are 5,305,000 members of HDMF whose total contributions reached P 8.169 Billion to its Fund. However, the amount paid for total benefits during the. same period,. including Provident and Additional Death Benefits was only P 2.881 Billion or 35 % of the total membership contributions. Only 105,004 members or a measly 1.98% of its total membership availed of the said benefits.
The low turn out of members availing of provident benefits from the HDMF may be due to the duplication of benefits being granted by the Fund and the GSIS and SSS. Further, it may also be an indication that more members may want to contribute a portion of their hard-earned salaries to other forms of investments, which are of equal or even greater need to them than those established in the Fund’s Provident Plan.
Notwithstanding the importance of providing a roof over our heads, this measure motivates employees to voluntarily plan and provide for their future needs through investments of their own choice, while maintaining the corresponding employer’s contribution. Employees are thereby not bound by mandatory contributions to a Provident Fund that is in a greater part dedicated to housing purposes.
This bill which allows employees to avail of Pre-Need Plans as an option to Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) membership recognizes the employees’ right to individual responsibility for their salaries by giving them the free choice to avail of investments which provide for the performance of future service/sat the time of actual need.
Republic Act No. 8425
AN ACT INSTITUTIONALIZING THE SOCIAL REFORM AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROGRAM, CREATING FOR THE PURPOSE THE NATIONAL ANTI-POVERTY COMMISSION, DEFINING ITS POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:: This Act shall be known as the “Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act.” The National Anti-Poverty Commission. – To support the above-stated policy, the National Anti-Poverty Commission, hereinafter referred to as the NAPC, is hereby created under the Office of the President, which shall serve as the coordinating and advisory body for the implementation of the SRA. The Presidential Commission to Fight Poverty (PCFP), the Social Reform Council (SRC), and the Presidential Council for Countryside Development (PCCD) are hereby abolished and the NAPC shall exercise the powers and functions of these agencies.
The NAPC shall be the successor-in-interest of the three (3) abolished commissions and councils. The People’s Development Trust Fund. – The People’s Development Trust Fund (PDTF) is hereby established, which shall be monitored by the NAPC. Microfinance program. – The programs and implementing mechanisms of the Social Reform Agenda’s Flagship Program on Credit shall be integrated, adopted and further enhanced to effectively support the objectives of this Act along the following thrusts: (1) Development of a policy environment, especially in the area of savings generation, supportive of basic sector initiatives dedicated to serving the needs of the poor in terms of microfinance services;
(2) Rationalization of existing government programs for credit and guarantee; (3) Utilization of existing government financial entities for the provision of microfinance products and services for the poor; and (4) Promotion of mechanisms necessary for the implementation of microfinance services, including indigenous microfinance practices. People’s Credit and Finance Corporation (PCFC). – The People’s Credit and Finance Corporation (PCFC), a government- controlled corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and created in accordance with Administrative Order No. 148 and Memorandum Order No. 261, shall be the vehicle for the delivery of microfinance services for the exclusive use of the poor. As a government-owned and -controlled corporation, it shall be the lead government entity specifically tasked to mobilize financial resources from both local and international funding sources for microfinance services for the exclusive use of the poor.
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7877
AN ACT DECLARING SEXUAL HARASSMENT UNLAWFUL IN THE EMPLOYMENT, EDUACATION OR TRAINING ENVIRONMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: This Act shall be known as the “Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995. All forms of sexual harassment in the employment, education and training environment are declared unlawful as stated in section two of the Republic Act No. 7877, otherwise known as Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 in the Philippines. For those convicted of sex crimes, probation with mandated treatment along with some jail time is a common disposition. The major goal of treatment for sex offenders is the prevention of sexual offenses in the future. The request for sexual favor and other forms of erotic propositions are against the law of the land, especially in the Philippines. Thus, sexual harassment is not allowed under RA 7877, otherwise known as Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.
Most of us have disagreed with the notions once the sex offender convicted of the crime that he had committed, he will be prosecuted to the highest extent of law. All of us are aware of the consequences once the verdict has been pronounced, passed down or gaveled by the judge. That Republic Act No. 7877, also known as the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, provides criminal sanctions for acts constituting sexual harassment. The law also requires the employers or the head of the covered institutions to deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide for procedures for resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment. In Republic Act No. 7877, it is clearly defined and I categorically quote: (1) In a work-related or employment environment, sexual harassment is committed when: (a) The sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in granting said individual favorable compensation, terms of conditions, promotions, or privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive or diminish employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee;
(b) The above acts would impair the employee’s rights or privileges under existing labor laws; or (c) The above acts would result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee. 2) In an education or training environment, sexual harassment is committed:(a) Against one who is under the care, custody or supervision of the offender; (b) Against one whose education, training, apprenticeship or tutorship is entrusted to the offender; (c) When the sexual favor is made a condition to the giving of a passing grade, or the granting of honors and scholarships, or the payment of a stipend, allowance or other benefits, privileges, or consideration; or (d) When the sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student, trainee or apprentice. Any person who directs or induces another to commit any act of sexual harassment as herein defined, or who cooperates in the commission thereof by another without which it would not have been committed, shall also be held liable under this Act.
All forms of sexual harassment in the employment, education or training environment are declared unlawful as stated in section 2 of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 in the Philippines. It affirmed that each person must value the dignity of every individual, enhance the development of his/her human resources, guarantee full respect for human rights, and uphold the dignity of workers, employees, applicants for employment, students or those undergoing training, instruction or education. Towards this end, to reiterate the issue, all forms of sexual harassment in the employment, education or training environment are hereby declared unlawful. This is what we called the anti-sexual harassment found in the Republic Act No. 7877 in the Republic of the Philippines.
To advert upon the prevailing issue, Section 3 likewise defines sexual harassment as a request for any forms of sexual favors, accepted or not, from an employer, employee, manager, teacher, instructor, professor, coach, trainer or other persons who have authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another. Sexual harassment is committed when such a favor is demanded in return for employment or promotion, or refusal to grant such a favor results in the impairment of the employee’s rights, privileges or employment opportunities. Like for instance, the issues of gender inequality are identified perfectly as a major problem in the other country, particularly the Middle East. One particularly degrading aspect of this is sexual harassment of women on the streets. This issue came to the forefront in October 2006, when widespread and aggressive sexual harassment of women transpired in downtown Cairo during the holiday. It said in the reports that a lot of newspapers examine the efforts of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights to organize and lead a successful anti-sexual harassment campaign.
Data and other important documents came from the participant observations of the campaign for one year, started in November 2006. Findings showed that the organization was successful because it framed the movement broadly as a safety issue, used innovative protest tactics, and operated through routine political channels. Here in the Philippines, the law clearly stated that any person who induces another to commit or who cooperates in the commission of sexual harassment is also held liable. The employer or the head of office has the duty to prevent and deter the commission of sexual harassment and to provide procedures for the investigation, resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment, notably through the creation of a Committee on Decorum and Investigation. This does not bar prosecution in proper courts. The liability of the employer, head of office, educational or training institution arises when, informed of acts of sexual harassment, no immediate action is taken.
There have been so many cases of sexual harassment in the public schools. Victims are not only students but also teachers. Some higher education officials are guilty of this. Somebody in the academe told me about the scenario. She had a friend who was pretty and sexy. When the superintendent saw her in one of the gatherings of teachers, he asked somebody to get the phone number of the teacher. Her friend readily gave her number because it was the superintendent who asked for it. That was a weekend. A few days after that meeting, she received a call from the superintendent inviting her for dinner. She was told not to bring a chaperone. Sensing something fishy, she declined the invitation and gave out excuses. Many invitations followed thereafter and as usual she never accepted any of those propositions. The superintendent, though, did not give up. He sought the help of the principal. The principal kept on nudging her to accept the invitation even once. But she was firm in her conviction.
The story did not end there. She was given a hard time. When she could no longer stomach the pressures imposed upon her, she told the principal that if he does not stop pressuring her, she will file the harassment complaint against him and his boss at the Ombudsman. He showed the principal a copy of this Republic Act. From then on, the principal and the superintendent stopped pestering her. This RA 7877 is very helpful to employees, especially the rank and file. They are helpless if the head of office victimizes them. For fear of reprisal, some employees give in to the sexual demands of their bosses. These employees are ignorant of this Republic Act. That’s why it is imperative that employees read the articles in the constitution to know their rights and privileges. They have to know the laws. It is a misconception that only lawyers or lawmakers should be well-versed of our constitution. Every citizen has the right to know. As they say, “Ignorance of the law excuses no one.