Committee on Labor and Employment

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Rep. Stella Quimbo of Marikina proposed a house measure that may be considered as vital in times of unexpected economic downturns such as a pandemic.

HB 7028 otherwise known as An act instituting a National Unemployment Insurance Program for the Philippines aims to uphold the safetiness of workers most especially in times of unexpected economic downturn.

The country is currently suffering from the chilling effects of COVID-19. The figures and records show that there is a 17.7% increase in unemployment, the said figure is the highest in 6 decades.

Quimbo believes that there is lacking in the current system that ensures the safety and security of the workers, not to mention the lack of coverage of SSS AND GSIS. The proposed measures will strengthen further the insurance mechanism and support to the workers.

Based on the data presented, the Informal Sector is likely to incur more unemployment than in the Public Sectors. Quimbo wanted to stress out that this proposed house measure is a must. Rep. Mendoza of TUCP has similarly related bills way back from 14th congress. Both lawmakers agree that it is high time to institutionalize insurance for the unemployed.

The computation of the contribution is based on actuarial assessments by the government. Quimbo used the basis of probability unemployment rate (now standing at 6%) in which it may translate a 540 Pesos contribution per year which is about 45 pesos per month. Quimbo wanted the insurance commission to have an annual actuarial assessment.

It will involve a scheme of Government; Employee-Employer contribution. Quimbo also set a maximum of 3 months to avoid Moral Hazard and avoid any unintended consequences to the economy. She also indicated a maximum of 125k ceiling for the premium contribution.

Rep. Gaite raised his concern about the possible impacts to the workers. Workers were not receiving enough compensation and this is another deduction from their salary.

Quimbo assured her colleague that there is a protection related to this. The bill is referred to the sub-committee headed by rep. Mark Go of Baguio for further deliberation.

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