INFORMATION BLITZ: Paalala sa mga OFW-members ng PhilHealth: Ang PhilHealth membership and contribution ay MANDATORY ayon sa batas kaya magpamiyembro at magbayad ng kontribusyon bago umalis ng bansa. Seguraduhin ang proteksyon ng kalusugan ng iyong sarili at pamilya.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Govt. agencies urged to support SSS Flexi-Fund Program for OFWs

By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY - The Regional Development Council (RDC)-IX has recently passed a resolution urging concerned government agencies and Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Zamboanga Peninsula region to advocate the availment of the Social Security System’s (SSS) Flexi-Fund Program for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

In its resolution dated Feb. 16, 2015, RDC-IX requested the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the local government units (LGUs) to encourage the OFWs to avail themselves of the SSS Flexi-Fund Program.

Based on the 2013 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey, as of 2014, only 443,000 or 32.4% of the 1,028,252 registered voluntary member OFWs, are paying SSS premiums and receiving benefits.

It was also noted in the survey that only two of every five OFWs are able to save from their cash remittances.

The SSS Flexi-Fund Program, which is a voluntary provident fund, is an innovation for OFWs financial security. It is tax-free and could be availed of by the member as early as three years after membership date. However, he/she may choose to leave the fund intact until he/she retires.

The program was launched to encourage OFWS to make saving a priority for use in their future needs or to mitigate loss of income once they come home. This is considered as an exclusive safe investment vehicle for 0FWs, which requires at least P200 paid premium in excess of current maximum salary credit of P16 thousand.

All OFWs are eligible to become a member of the SSS Flexi-Fund Program, provided they were recruited in the Philippines by a foreign-based employer for employment abroad, having a source of income in a foreign country, or residing permanently in a foreign country.