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House to probe PhilHealth and SSS premium increase

houseThe House of Representatives will inquire into the recent increase in the premium contributions of millions of members of the Social Security System (SSS) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

The committee on good government and public accountability will handle the inquiry.

The investigation was prompted by Resolution 660, filed by Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, and Antonio Tinio of Alliance of Concerned Teachers.

SSS will raise members’ contribution from 10.4 percent to 11 percent in order to reduce its unfunded liability of about P1.1 trillion by P1.6 billion or 15 percent, and to extend the fund’s life until 2043.

Some 30.04 million SSS members and 871,642 employers will be affected by the increase.

The three party-list lawmakers said SSS and PhilHealth members have opposed the increases, not only because these would further deplete the income of ordinary workers, but also because the need for such increases have not been proven by both PhilHealth and SSS.

They said the increases could not be justified in the face of the decisions of the board of trustees of the two agencies to grant themselves bonuses amounting to millions of pesos.

Incumbent SSS trustees gave themselves P10 million in bonuses for alleged good performance, while the previous board gifted themselves with P200 million in retirement benefits, they said.

In the case of PhilHealth, the three lawmakers said its trustees and personnel received P1.5 billion in bonuses and performance incentives.

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