by Azer Parrocha
MANILA — Over 120,000 female members of the Social Security System (SSS) have benefited from the Expanded Maternity Leave Law in the first four months of its implementation, its top official said on Wednesday.
SSS president and CEO Aurora Ignacio said a total of 122,571 female SSS members have enjoyed a 105-day leave which took effect on March 11 this year.
“We are happy to report that we have assisted about 122,571 female members of SSS during their pregnancy from January to April 2019,” Ignacio bared during a press briefing in Malacañang.
“Those who gave birth starting March 11, 2019, when the 105 day-expanded maternity leave law (Republic Act 11210) took effect have benefited from the long period of recuperation, after giving birth and a longer time to take care of their newborns,” she added.
With the new maximum monthly salary credit of PHP20,000 which was implemented last April, Ignacio said the maximum maternity financial assistance of SSS will increase to PHP70,000 by January 2020.
“This is more than double the previous maternity benefit of PHP32,000,” Ignacio said.
According to Ignacio, the state-run pension fund has disbursed PHP2.67 billion in maternity benefits from January to April 2019, which is a 15.09 percent rise from the PHP2.32 billion disbursed in the same period last year.
She, meanwhile, clarified some concerns on the law particularly for employers who have paid in advance the maternity benefit adjustment and for self-employed, voluntary members among others.
“Employers who have paid in advance the corresponding adjustment in maternity benefit to their qualified female employees in accordance with RA 11210, they have to submit to SSS a proof of advance payment with their letter request for adjustment and a photocopy of solo parent ID — if applicable,” Ignacio said.
“For self-employed, voluntary members, OFW workers, members separated from employment — payment of differential shall be made through banks or through checks as the case may be. Based on the initial settlement of the maternity claim, SSS started paying the differential due self-employed and voluntary members on June 13,” she added.
The expanded maternity benefit is among the seven types of benefits under the new SSS law or RA 11199, also known as the Social Security Act of 2018. Others include sickness, disability, retirement, funeral, death or survivor pension, and unemployment benefit.
Ignacio, meanwhile, vowed to continuously develop its benefit programs to provide better assistance to the SSS members. (PNA)