Because why not take advantage?
When you work a corporate job, most government services to take part of are mandated. You look at your payslip twice a month and notice a significant percentage of your salary is given to SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG. Like me, you probably hate seeing those numbers go down to enroll and keep you in services you don’t even know about.
Lo and behold, no matter what you feel about the government, there are serious benefits to these contributions—you just need to know when and how to use them.
Essentially, the Social Security System is insurance for when you are no longer able to work, whether that’s due to an illness or pregnancy. It should guarantee that you can get by through an allowance or pension, the computation of which depends on the gravity of your situation and how many days you aren’t able to work.
But what happens when you aren’t employed? It’s a little more work as you’d have to compute and give your contributions on the monthly, but the benefits just can’t be ignored. For example, SSS’s retirement benefit is described as “a lifetime cash benefit paid to a retiree”—of which the minimum requirement is 120 months of contributions prior to retirement. We know 10 years sounds like a lot, but a lump sum amount is also given if you don’t meet that standard (the amount of which is total contributions + interest!).
SSS is for privately employed individuals and protects the against disability, sickness, old age and even death. Click here to see how you can pay your contributions.
Less known as the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, the main goal of PhilHealth is to ensure that the health of every Filipino—rich, poor, employed, unemployed, young, old—is held to a standard. Ideally, it makes medical services more affordable for everyone that’s enlisted, whether it’s for an inpatient or outpatient service.
To hold true to its inclusive nature, members can fall under any of the following categories:
- Sponsored (those who work for a non-profit organization)
- Indigent (those with no source of stable income, pre-determined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development)
- Lifetime (those who have made contributions for 120 months)
- Senior Citizens (even if you’ve never been a member)
Not everyone has access to bank loans—and, even then, not everyone’s basic salaries are high enough to get a significant loan. Enter: Pag-IBIG, also known as the Home Development Mutual Fund.
While “home” is right there in the name, we can get loans not just for housing. Think loans for education and livelihood, financial assistance programs for emergencies and even access saving programs. And unlike SSS and PhilHealth, contribution doesn’t depend on someone’s salary.
The minimum contribution per month is P100. Plus, you can pay online.
So while it hurts—or will hurt, depending on the nature of your job—to pay to these government services every month, just think about the benefits they provide. Instead of that one dinner out, you’re putting money in to secure your future.
Art Alexandra Lara