Philippine social security office opens in Dubai

More than 400,000 Filipino expatriates in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, the biggest concentration of Filipino workers in UAE, have reasons to rejoice.

By Lily B. Libo-on

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Published: Mon 24 Sep 2012, 12:35 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:40 PM

They can now apply for condonation of their unpaid loans and update their membership directly with their country’s Social Security System (SSS) as it opened its doors here on Friday.

Emilio S. de Quiros Jr., SSS President and CEO, who launched the service at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO), said the SSS currently offers a condonation programme of up to 80 to 90 per cent against compounded penalties for failure of the recipients to pay the monthly amortisation.

He said the new features of SSS range from My.SSS, the website where members can keep track of the posting of their monthly contributions and status of their loans and application of other benefits online; new SSS card (UMID), which can be used not only for SSS but for Pag-IBIG provident fund and two other related government services; and, the Flexi-fund, which is adopted as a provident fund. Explaining the updates on the SSS programmes and services, Judy Frances A. See, senior vice-president, SSS Account Management Group and head, International Operations Division, said the Flexi-fund can be availed of by members already paying the maximum of P1,560 or Dh135.

“This Flexi-fund will enable members to earn more pension and savings plan rolled into one. Contribution will be not less than P200 or Dh17.35 with no deposit or maintaining balance, interest of one percent per annum is tax free starting this year and payment is anytime.”

She said all Filipino expatriates and their families abroad are free to be voluntary members by contributing P520 or Dh45 minimum to P1,560 or Dh135 maximum, “The SSS is among the lowest contribution rate compared to all other instruments.”

She briefed the Filipino Community leaders and representatives of Dubai exchange centres attending the launch that the SSS is much better than any private insurance coverage because it provides maternity and sickness allowance; partial and total disability benefits; death benefits; primary beneficiaries continue to receive 100 per cent pension for life as long as legally married and remains unmarried after death of the insured; no lapsing/continuing coverage even when members stop paying; retirement benefits; and is guaranteed by the Philippine government.

“Private insurance lapses when the covered individual fails to regularly contribute, and it is not guaranteed by the Philippine government when the insurance company cheats the members.”

Popularly called by members as “safe, secure savings”, the SSS will enable members to avail of personal and housing loans after 36 contributions with interest of as low as eight percent for P400,000 up to P1 million payable within 15 years. At the launch, Grace Relucio-Princesa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Philippines in Abu Dhabi, said it was an important day since it will be a start for Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to avail of social security, which many Filipino expatriates need to have, so they have something to look up to when they finally retire from overseas employment.

She also encouraged those present to spread this good news so that the whole community in the UAE would know and, therefore, start securing their future.

SSS Dubai is the seventh to be opened in the Middle East. It already has offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Kuwait, Doha, and Abu Dhabi. The SSS has now 15 offices in 11 countries worldwide.

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