The Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) hosted this year’s Philippine Social Security Association (PHILSSA) Summit with the theme “Future of Work and Social Security Talk” at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas City on November 15, 2019.

Officials and employees from ECC and other members of the PHILSSA composed of the Government Service Insurance System, the Home Development Mutual Fund, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office and the Social Security System participated in a one-day summit tackling the challenges faced by the social security institutions in the Philippines given the future of work.

International Labor Organization (ILO) Director for Country Office for the Philippines Khalid Hassan shared that worldwide social security faces technological and climate changes. He said that industrial robots have already replaced employees in some sectors worldwide. “Jobs will be lost because of these forces transforming the world of work,” Hassan said.

Meanwhile, Joseline P. Niwane, Assistant Secretary for Policy and Plans of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) explained enhanced social protection operational framework for the Philippines. She elaborated the principles of social protection in the Philippines as one that is universal and transformative. “All Filipinos must be able to access the programs that will respond to the various lifetime risks as the government should address concerns of social exclusions,” said Niwane.

The talks continued with additional discussions on exploring the possibility of a basic income guarantee in the Philippines by Dr.  Fernando T. Aldaba of the Ateneo De Manila University while Girlie Grace Casimiro-Igtiben of the National Economic Development Authority discussed the Social Development Goals and the social protection chapter of the Philippine Development Plan.

Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Staumba, Executive Director of DOLE Institute for Labor Studies, on the other hand, talked about the unemployment insurance emphasizing the need to link unemployment insurance with labor market policies on training and job search.

ECC Executive Director Stella Zipagawan-Banawis, who also chairs the PHILSSA presented an overview of the Social Protection Floor (SPF). She highlighted the Assessment-Based National Dialogue’s recommendations such as subsidizing PhilHealth premiums for the poor and informal sectors, introducing an employment insurance scheme, subsidizing SSS premiums, increasing the benefit in the social pensions and providing a universal subsistence allowance to persons with disabilities.

Reporting by Carlo Katigbak