LEDAC lists SSS Reform Act of 2017 as priority

State-run Social Security System (SSS) welcomed the move of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to include the proposal to amend the Social Security Law of 1997 as one of the priority measures for the 17th Congress.

“We are thankful to the council for including the SS charter amendment as one of the priority bills for the 17th Congress as we believe here in SSS that the bright future of the pension fund lies in the successful reform of the 20-year old law,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said.

In a statement, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the LEDAC Executive Committee recently approved the Common Legislative Agenda (CLA) for the 17th Congress which consisted of 28 priority measures, including the Social Security Act amendments.

Of the 28 priority measures, 14 were recommended by the Ledac-ExeCom as urgent to stress the need to pass the law within the year, and 10 were already filed in both houses of Congress and in advanced stages of legislation.

The LEDAC is the highest consultative and advisory body to the President on economic and development matters to integrate the legislative agenda with the national development plan.

“We are pleased that the approved CLA responds to what the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 has laid out. In fact, 21 out of the 28 measures are identified as priority legislations in the PDP. This development only shows that the whole of government is moving forward in the same direction,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

Pernia added that the Common Legislative Priorities of Congress (consisting of 39 common priorities of both Houses of Congress) and the President’s Legislative Agenda (consisting of 55 proposed legislations) were the bases of the prioritization.

The SS Reform Act of 2017 is among the bills that are already in the advanced stage of legislation. The lower house version was passed on third reading and submitted to the Senate for concurrence last January 18. The proposed charter amendments are currently being discussed in several committee hearings of the Government Corporations and Public Enterprises (GCPE) committee joint with Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development in the Senate.

SSS eyes the charter amendment proposal as one of the long-term solutions that will make the pension fund viable and sustainable in the future to further serve its members and pensioners.

One of the major provisions of the proposal is the rationalization of the powers, duties and accountabilities of the Social Security Commission (SSC). With the rationalized powers, it will make it easier for the SSC to diversify SSS investments to generate and boost earnings of the pension fund, and to further improve the benefits being disbursed to its members.

The bill, when enacted into law, will also allow the Commission to condone penalties on delinquent contributions by employers and employee-members, and to determine appropriate monthly salary credit and contribution tables based on actuarial studies for the stability and viability of the pension fund.

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