Social Security System (SSS) President and Chief Executive Officer Rolando Ledesma Macasaet (4th from left), His Excellency Ambassador William John Carlos of the Embassy of Ireland (3rd from left), and Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) OIC-Executive Director Jose Maria Batino (5th from left) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the SSS Building, Quezon City that will provide social security coverage and employees’ compensation (EC) benefits to Filipinos working in the Irish Embassy in Manila.
Under the agreement, 9 Filipino employees working in the Irish Embassy would become covered employees with the Embassy of Ireland as their employer. In return, the Embassy would shoulder the employer share of their workers’ monthly SSS contributions. Currently, the SSS contribution rate is 14 percent, wherein the employer pays 9.5 percent, while the employee shoulders the remaining 4.5 percent.
Likewise, the Embassy would also shoulder the EC contributions of its employees, which range from P10 to P30 per month, depending on their Monthly Salary Credit (MSC), or the salary covered by which SSS contributions and benefits are based.
Macasaet explained that under Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, Filipino employees working in any foreign government, such as embassies and consulates, and those employed in international organizations, are exempted from compulsory SSS coverage.
“However, embassies and consulates may enter a pact with the Philippine government to include their employees in social security coverage,” he added.
In June 2022, the Embassy of Ireland expressed its intention to register its locally hired Filipino employees with the SSS to provide them with social security protection.
“We want to thank the Irish government for initiating this agreement. It is a kind gesture that will ensure that our fellow Filipinos working in the Embassy will have a safety net during times of emergencies,” Macasaet said.
As SSS members, employees are entitled to receive social security benefits such as sickness, maternity, disability, unemployment, retirement, funeral, and death benefits. They may also apply for various loan programs, which include salary and calamity, among others. In addition, they will also get additional coverage from the Employees’ Compensation Program (ECP) for work-related contingencies.
Meanwhile, Macasaet said they could further strengthen the partnership between the two countries by exchanging knowledge and best practices in implementing pension schemes. “We are interested to learn from your country’s pension system and how the Irish government can teach us in improving our pension system,” he added.
Macasaet hopes that other embassies, consulates, and international organizations in the Philippines follow the example of the Embassy of Ireland in entering into an agreement with SSS for the social security coverage of their Filipino employees.
Also present during the MOA signing are (standing from left to right) SSS International Operations Group Acting Head Francis Paolo Lazaro, SSS Executive Vice President for Branch Operations Sector Voltaire Agas, and SSS Corporate Legal Services Division Acting Vice President Stella Berna Lo Valentona Inacay.