More than 4,000 members of the Social Security System (SSS) who lost their jobs due to layoffs or closures of private companies hit by the economic fallout amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have so far applied for the unemployment insurance benefit.
SSS President and CEO Aurora Ignacio said they have noted an increase in numbers of their members seeking to avail themselves of the insurance benefit since June, after the months-long lockdown which forced many private firms to stop operations due to the global pandemic.
"Simula nitong June 1 to 23, nakapagtala na tayo ng application ng 4,496, equivalent ng P60 million ito. Talagang affected ang ating mga workers dahil sa calamity na ito. (On June 1 to 23, we already registered an application of 4,496 or equivalent of P60 million. It means that our workers are really affected by this calamity," Ignacio said in a virtual Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday.
According to Ignacio, premium-paying members can avail themselves of the unemployment benefits which is equivalent to half of their average monthly salary credit (AMSC) for a maximum of two months if they are displaced due to redundancy, installation of labor-saving devices, retrenchment, closure or cessation of operation, and disease or illness.
"Kung na-unemploy ang isang miyembro ng SSS involuntarily, halimbawa sila ay natanggal or nawalan ng trabaho, pwede silang mag-apply ng unemployment insurance benefit (If a member of the SSS lost their jobs involuntarily, for example, they are laid off, they can apply for the unemployment insurance benefit)," she explained.
The SSS chief also said that members who are displaced due to reasons brought by the pandemic will also be qualified given that they have paid the requisite minimum number of monthly contributions for three years, 12 of which should have been made in the last 18 months.
Since the benefit was approved in 2018 and took effect August 2019, Ignacio said the state-run pension fund shelled out P354 million for at least 30,000 employees who applied.
Ignacio said qualified members including overseas Filipino workers who may want to avail of the benefit can still file for an application online through registering at the My.SSS website.
"The submission of application has a one-year prescriptive period since separation and our members need to show certification that they have been displaced due to reasons brought about by COVID-19," she added.