MALACAÑANG said it is now studying the proposed deferment of the contribution hike for Social Security System (SSS) members.

In an online press briefing last Thursday, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque disclosed SSS has submitted to the Office of the President its recommendation on the matter.

“We are looking at the financial viability of the SSS at the same time the weakened business and livelihood during the pandemic,” Roque said.

“So you could expect we will come out with a decision on this at the soonest possible time,” he added.

Roque issued the statement in response to the appeal of employer and labor groups to President Duterte to issue an Executive Order (EO) suspending the implementation of the higher SSS contribution rate.

Under Republic Act 11548, the President is authorized to suspend the scheduled premium hike under the Social Security Act of 2018.

The first tranche of the increase took effect last January, which raised the SSS monthly contribution rate from 12 percent to 13 percent.

Without the EO, the higher SSS contribution rate will continue to take effect.

Stakeholders maintained the contribution hike is untimely, especially as companies are still reeling from the business disruption caused by Covid-19.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it is backing the position of employers and the labor sector on the said issue.

“Given the pandemic, we can support the call of the labor and employer groups to defer the increase,” Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said in a SMS.

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