Payment Charges Increase to SSS, HDMF, and PhilHealth for Filipino Crew Members

Jan 11, 2020

Starting this year the mandatory payment employee benefits and contribution charges for overseas Filipino workers was increased for the Social Security Systems (SSS) contribution, contribution to National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) or Philhealth, and contribution to Home Development and Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-ibig,

This increase will also affect all Filipino crew members working on cruise ships and will also reflect on their monthly salary deductions.

Carnival Cruise Line has already shared a letter among their Filipino team members on January 10, informing them about the recent increase. The following letter was shared by CCL crew member:

“Dear Team Member,

We would like to inform you that we recently received notification from the Filipino Government regarding necessary changes to the amount that both the company and employee contribute to PHI National Social Security System.

At the request of the Filipino government, your agency in the Philippines is changing your monthly contributions for Philihealth, SSS and Pag-ibig.

Effective from January 1, 2020, CCL's contribution will increase from $46 to $53 per month and your contribution will increase from $28 to $36 per month. This new change will be reflected in your paycheck of January 19, 2020.”

The Hikes in OFW contributions to SSS, PhilHealth were announced in June 2019. Back then recruiters and migrants’ rights advocates opposed the hikes and urged the Filipino government to suspend the planned increase warning that this will be an additional financial burden that may push overseas workers to leave the country through the backdoor.

Social Security System (SSS) was created to provide private employees and their families protection against disability, sickness, old age, and death. The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is the equivalent system for Philippine government employees.

Home Development Mutual Fund, also known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, is a provident savings system supplying housing loans to private and Philippine government employees, and to self-employed persons who elect to join the Fund.