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Thursday, November 30, 2023

‘Defer SSS, PhilHealth hikes in ‘23’

Employers want the government to postpone the anticipated increase in contributions to the Social Security System (SSS) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in 2023, saying businesses are just recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

The increase favors most SSS members, but some employers, such as the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), are asking for its postponement, GMA News reported.

“Ninety percent of our enterprises are micro. But 50% of these shut down during the pandemic, a lot have not reopened.

Others are discouraged to reopen (because of the planned rate hikes),” said Sergio Ortiz-Luis, ECOP President.

According to a 24 Oras report, the SSS contribution will be increased by one percent from 13% to 14% next year.

Meanwhile, PhilHealth’s contribution will increase to 4.5% from 4%.

This came after Ortiz-Luis praised the Marcos administration, saying the opening of the economy and the push of the government to create more job opportunities pushed the country’s employment rate to pick up.

Ortiz-Luis Jr. noted late Thursday that the recovery of the country’s micro industries helped fuel the growth of the economy.

Inflation remains manageable, the ECOP president said, and the country remains on the path to economic recovery.
“Well, I will not say it is out of control, it’s a little high but it’s manageable,” said Ortiz-Luis.

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) preliminary results of its latest labor force survey released on Wednesday, the country’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in October, lower than the 7.4 percent in October 2021 and 5 percent in September.

President Marcos had said he sees bright prospects for the country’s economy after the unemployment rate dipped in October.

The ECOP president, for his part, cited the need to intensify efforts to address skills mismatch and attract investments that will generate more jobs.

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