February 13, 2017
Senate adopts resolution concurring ratification
The Senate adopted today a resolution concurring in the ratification of a social security agreement between the Philippines and Japan.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon said the agreement sought to protect the social security rights of overseas Filipinos in Japan to enable them to have access to social security benefits, including sickness, maternity, paternity, occupational diseases, invalidity, old age and survivor's pension. Drilon is co-sponsor of the resolution.
Drilon said the mutual agreement would benefit an estimated 377,233 Filipinos in Japan and 17,021 Japanese nationals currently in the country.
The Philippines-Japan Social Security Agreement was signed on November 19, 2015 in Manila and ratified by the Philippine President on January 12, 2017.
According to Drilon, overseas Filipino workers face territorial or nationality-based restrictions which deny them access to social security benefits. He said many receiving states do not cover foreign workers under their social security schemes, leaving Filipino workers with no access to basic safety nets while working abroad.
Moreover, he added, many employers face the risk of dual coverage or payment of double contributions when they send workers on a temporary basis to another country.
"Labor protection should take the frontline in this age of globalization. We must take steps to guarantee the full protection of our workers here and abroad," Drilon said in his sponsorship speech.
Drilon said the Philippine-Japan agreement contained standard provisions that are consistent and compliant with the universal declaration of human rights and various international labor organization conventions.
He said the agreement adopted and codified the fundamental principles of international coordination of social security legislation such as equality of treatment which entitled the covered person in one state, his family members and survivors to social security benefits under the same conditions as nationals of the other state. It would also allow covered persons to continue receiving his or her social security pension whether he or she would decide to reside in the Philippines or Japan and allow the tacking of creditable periods of covered persons under the social security schemes of the Philippines and Japan to determine eligibility of benefits.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and sponsor of Resolution 283, said the agreement sought to coordinate the pension programs for people who live or work in the Philippines and Japan wherein those covered by their respective social security systems would continue to receive the benefits due them whether they reside in the Philippines, Japan or elsewhere.
"Upon the entry into force of this agreement, employees temporarily dispatched for a period of five years or less to the other country will be covered by the pension system of the country from which these employees were dispatched," Cayetano explained.
He said the agreement would enable the establishment of eligibility to receive pension in each country by totalizing the period of the coverage in both countries.
"Employees who have divided their careers between the Philippines and Japan will no longer be required to pay pension premiums in both countries, and their contribution in one jurisdiction may be considered as contribution to the other," Cayetano said.
Aside from Japan, the Philippines have similar agreements with Austria, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Spain, France, Canada, Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.
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