The Senate adopted on Monday, February 13, Senate Resolution No. 283, concurring in the ratification of a social security agreement between the Philippines and Japan.
“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,” Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the committee in foreign relations explained.
“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 said in a press statement.
Cayetano, who sponsored Resolution 283, said employees who divided their careers between the Philippines and Japan will no longer be required to pay pension premiums in both countries. He said that their contribution in one jurisdiction may be considered as contribution to the other.
Meanwhile, Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon said the agreement would benefit an estimated 377,233 Filipinos in Japan and 17,021 Japanese nationals currently in the country.
Drilon said the agreement contained standard provisions consistent and compliant with the universal declaration of human rights and various international labor organization conventions.
Drilon, who co-sponsored the resolution, said the agreement adopted 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, Drilon added.
Drilon said 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 without access to basic safety nets while working abroad.
He also said 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.
The Philippines-Japan Social Security Agreement was signed on November 19, 2015 in Manila and ratified by the Philippine President on January 12, 2017.
The country has similar agreements with Austria, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Spain, France, Canada, Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.