The Social Security System on Tuesday announced that self-employed members may now register to the employees’ compensation (EC) program.
In a statement, EC commission executive director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said this development came after SSS president and CEO Aurora Ignacio signed a joint memorandum circular pursuant to the ECC Board Resolution No. 19-03-05 on promulgating the Policy on Expanding the Coverage of the Employees’ Compensation Program to the Self-Employed Compulsory Members of the SSS.
Starting September, the payment reference numbers issued by SSS for self-employed members will already include EC contributions.
Meanwhile, self-employed members who already paid their contributions in advance will be notified via email to pay their EC contributions corresponding to the period of September until the last applicable month of the advance payment.
SSS said payment deadlines applicable for the contributions will also apply for the EC contributions of self-employed members.
So far, EC contributions are pegged at P10 monthly for workers with a monthly salary credit of below P15,000 and P30 monthly for those with a monthly salary credit of P15,000 and above.
"We are happy for this milestone development made by the ECC and SSS as it endeavors to cover almost 3 million self-employed workers,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
“The inclusion of our self-employed compulsory members of the SSS is a manifestation that we are true to our commitment to provide meaningful benefits and services to all workers, both in public and private sectors,” he added.
The SSS said the EC program is a government program designed to provide both public and private sector workers and/or their dependents packages such as loss of income benefits, medical benefits, carer’s allowance and rehabilitation services in the event of work-connected contingencies.
According to the SSS, a worker is considered self-employed if he or she is engaged in any trade, business or occupation with no employer other than himself or herself.
He or she derives an income from his/her physical and mental efforts and is not over 60 years old for the initial coverage.
Included, but not limited to, are the following self-employed individuals:
- Self-employed professionals who have their own business offices;
- Partners, single proprietors of businesses, and directors or trustees of the board of corporations duly registered with appropriate government agencies;
- Actors, directors, scriptwriters, and news correspondents who do not fall within the definition of the term ”employee” in Section 8 (D) of the Social Security Law;
- Professional athletes, coaches, trainers, jockeys, individual farmers, and fisher folks;
- Workers in the informal sector such as market and ambulant vendors, transport workers, and those similarly situated;
- Contractual and job order personnel engaged by the government through a contract of service and who are not coverable under the Government Service Insurance System Law; and
- any other self-employed as determined by the Social Security Commission under such rules and regulations that it may prescribe.
Moreover, a self-employed worker who is not over 60 years old is subject for compulsory coverage for initial membership.
Latest data from the SSS showed that about 37.8 million workers are registered under SSS. Of the number, 2.64 million are self-employed or 7%. -NB, GMA News