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Expanded maternity leave could mean higher contribution rates —SSS

The newly signed law on expanded maternity leaves might mean higher Social Security System (SSS) premiums, the agency said on Friday.

According to a report by Dano Tingcuco in 24 Oras, the cost of the maternity benefits provided by the agency are projected to increase by more than a billion pesos.

The SSS currently spends more or less P6 billion on maternity benefits for 60 to 78 days of maternity leave.

With the new law stating mothers can have up to 105 paid maternity leaves, with an additional 15 days for single mothers, the expenses may rack up to P7.5 billion.

There are also no stated limitation on births in the new law, the report added.

This may result to higher contributions by SSS members.

"Ngayong nagdagdag na naman to 105 (days), and 120 in the case of solo parent, and yung nabanggit ko kanina, unlimited na ang number of childbirth mo, eh per actuaries, kailangan magdagdag, i-adjust ulit yung contribution. Dapat maging .5 plus yung .1 na deficit, dapat .6 (percent)," said SSS president and CEO Emmanuel Dooc.

According to the SSS, member contribution could reach up to 12.6 percent this year.

However, it added that the matter will still be reviewed intensively by the Social Security Commission, headed by the Department of Finance, and that nothing is final.

President Rodrigo Duterte has enacted the bill extending paid maternity leave for women in the government and private sector to 105 days.

The law grants additional maternity leave benefits to all female workers regardless of her civil status or legitimacy of her child.

From 60 days, working women will now have 105 days of maternity leave with full pay and the option to extend for another 30 days without pay.

Solo mothers will get 15 days of additional leave.