Decent Work in the Philippines - Statistics on Social Security (Third of a Series)

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Monday, May 29, 2017
The International Labor Organization (ILO) in its advocacy to promote the Decent Work Agenda describes decent work as “integral to efforts to reduce poverty and is a key mechanism for achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.  Decent work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, provides security in the workplace and social protection for workers and their families, and gives people the freedom to express their concerns, to organize and to participate in decisions that affect their lives”. (ILO, Country Profile, 2012, Preface)
During the UN General Assembly in September 2015, decent work and the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda became integral elements of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Specifically, Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. (ILO, Decent Work – Decent Work and the SDG)
In September 2008, the ILO adopted a framework of Decent Work Indicators that was presented to the 18th International Conference of Labor Statisticians in December 2008. The Governing Body endorsed the proposal to test the framework by developing Decent Work Country Profiles to pilot countries that include the Philippines which was later made possible through the project “Monitoring and Assessing Progress on Decent Work” (MAP) in 2012, with funding from the the European Union. 
The statistical measurement framework on decent work covers eleven (11) substantive elements corresponding to the four (4) strategic pillars of the Decent Work Agenda, namely: employment opportunities; adequate earnings and productive work; decent hours; combining work, family and personal life; work that should be abolished; stability and security of work; equal opportunity and treatment in employment; safe work environment; social security; and, social dialogue, workers’ and employers’ representation. Another element is the economic and social contest of decent work that helps determine what constitute decency in society as well as the extent to which the achievement of decent work enhances national economic, social and labor market performance. (ILO, Country Profile, 2012)
To facilitate efficient monitoring and assessment of progress towards decent work in the country, the Philippines through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) maintains the Decent Work Statistics Philippines (DeWS-Philippines), a one-stop web-based portal for decent work statistics to widen awareness on decent work among policymakers, labor organizations and employers, researchers and the general public as well.   
This issue of LABSTAT Updates presents statistics on another element of decent work which is Social Security of Work. This issue focuses on the six (6) indicators used to measure social security in the Philippines from 1995 to 2015. The six indicators are as follows: share of economically active population contributing to a pension scheme; share of population aged 60 and above benefiting from retirement/old age pension; average monthly pensions, social security benefits, health-care expenditures not financed out of pocket by private households; and estimated share of population covered by National Health Insurance Program. Related tables and metadata can be downloaded at the DeWS–Philippines website at
  • Social security covers all measures that provide benefits, whether in cash or in kind, to secure protection, from (a) lack of work-related income (or insufficient income) caused by sickness, disability, maternity, employment injury,  unemployment, old age, or death of a family member; (b) lack of access or unaffordable access to health care; (c) insufficient family support, particularly for children and adult dependents; and (d) general poverty and social exclusion.

  • The Social Security System (SSS) covers all enterprises with at least one employee since 1960 (Republic Act No. 2658) while the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), established in 1936, covers all government workers irrespective of their employment status except contractual employees who have no employee employer relationship with their agencies. Sources of data presented in the first four subtopics of this issue are from the GSIS and SSS.


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