From 44 million last year, the labor force has shrunk to 41 million Filipinos this April, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) labor force survey. Unemployment rate in the same month hit an all-time high of 17.7 percent. That’s equivalent to 7.3 million Filipinos who are jobless.
From April 2019 to April 2020, more than eight million Filipinos previously employed lost their jobs. Part of this is caused by the pandemic, which shut down industries and businesses.
To help those who have lost their source of income, Social Security System (SSS) announced that its contributing members who lost their jobs regardless if it is because of COVID-19 or not are eligible to receive up to P20,000 in cash benefit.
SSS Public Affairs and Special Events Division head Fernando Nicolas in a TV interview today, June 9, explained that members can get up to P20,000 or the equivalent of one month’s salary. “Halimbawa, ang isang miyembro ay naghuhulog ng para sa P20,000 monthly salary credit, makakakuha po siya ng ganung halaga,” Nicolas said.
How to apply for involuntary separation cash benefit
To qualify for the cash aid from SSS, Nicolas said members just need to present the following:
- Certification from the Department of Labor and Employment proving that you have been involuntarily terminated
- Savings account, where the cash aid will be deposited
The amount will be credited to the submitted savings account within five days in two payouts within two months.
Those who recently lost their job can still be entitled to this SSS benefit even if they have already received cash aid from the government, Nicolas added.
Returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) can also apply but will have to get their certification from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) instead of DOLE.
Self-employed SSS members, however, are not qualified for this cash benefit.
Header photo courtesy of Inquirer
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Writer: CHRISTIAN SAN JOSE