state-run Social Security System (SSS) over the weekend said more than 326,000 female members were assisted in 2018 with maternity benefit disbursements reaching to around P7.07 billion, a P954.62 million or 15.6 percent increase from over P6.11 billion recorded in 2017.
“We are glad that we are able to assist more of our female members financially during their pregnancy in 2018. We have recorded an increase of 12.6 percent or 36,550 female members more who availed of the benefit in 2018 compared to the previous year,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said.
Of the total number of beneficiaries in 2018, 68.2 percent or 222,551 are employee-members with total disbursements amounting to P5.98 billion.
Voluntary members followed comprising 25 percent or 81,641 with total disbursements of around P850 million. This is followed by self-employed members with 4.5 percent or 14,692 and Overseas Filipino Worker members with 2.3 percent or 7,429 with total disbursements of around P80 million and P150 million, respectively.
Moreover, SSS maternity benefit disbursements in the first two months of 2019 have already reached P1.34 billion with over 62,000 beneficiaries.
“We are expecting that these disbursements will continue to increase this year following the implementation of the 105-day Expanded Maternity Leave Law (EMLL) after the Implementing Rules and Regulations was already signed on Labor Day last week,” Ignacio said.
The EMLL will push the current 60/78-day paid maternity leave to 105 days for live childbirth, regardless of the mode of delivery, with an additional 15 days for solo mothers and an option for an additional 30 days without pay.
A 60-day paid leave, on the other hand, will be given to a qualified female member in case of miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy.
The maternity benefit may be granted regardless of the frequency of deliveries or miscarriage.
Further, the current maximum financial assistance of P32,000 will increase to P70,000 based on the P20,000 Monthly Salary Credit.
“SSS is motivated to continuously develop its benefit programs to provide more meaningful assistance to its members,” Ignacio said.
“We recognize the needs of mothers and their newborn babies. We hope that through the EMLL, women workers may be able to fully enjoy their rights to health and decent work,” she added. (SSS Cagayan de Oro)