All Articles With Category : Government Services

The latest and the best financial news, tips and tricks.

Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC): A Complete Guide for OFWs

The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) has been figuring in the news lately. As of this writing, processing OECs is suspended for all Kuwait-bound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), amid the ongoing investigation of the death of seven Filipino household workers in Kuwait. Also recently, the Department of Labor and Employment lifted its temporary suspension order that halted OEC processing from November to early December 2017 to allow the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to investigate reported illegal recruitment practices within its ranks. And for the past few years, OFW rights groups have been calling for scrapping the OEC[1] to “free OFWs from the burden of paying excessive fees.” Nonetheless, the OEC is still one of the required documents for most OFWs before they’re allowed to work abroad. Whether you’re a newly hired or a returning OFW, you need to get an OEC from the POEA. Securing this document ensures your protection from the government should anything unfortunate happen in your host country. Table of ContentsWhat is an OEC?What are the OEC Requirements?Document Requirements:OEC fees:How to Get an OECHow to Get an OEC ExemptionFinal Thoughts What is an OEC? Also called the POEA travel exit clearance, an OEC is a proof of being a documented OFW, meaning you’re allowed to leave the country and work overseas. You present it at the airport prior to your departure. It is valid for 60 days from the issuance date. This important document has several uses: Exemption from paying the travel tax and terminal fee when presented to the respective counters at the airport OFW’s exit pass…

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An Aspiring OFW’s Guide to the POEA and Its Services

Seeking greener pastures abroad? Looking for jobs and working abroad come with certain risks. If you’re not careful enough, you might wipe out several years’ worth of savings or be buried in debt when you fall prey to an illegal recruiter. Also, if you leave the country as an undocumented worker[1] and without going through the legal process (locally known as TNT or tago ng tago), you’ll be prone to being exploited by abusive employers. You won’t also enjoy the government protection and benefits for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). This is where government agencies, such as the POEA, play a crucial and active role. The POEA is tasked to protect aspiring OFWs even before they get hired and start working abroad. All applicants for overseas jobs go through the POEA for processing their documents. Know what the POEA can do for you and its services available to Filipinos who are seeking employment abroad. Table of ContentsWhat is POEA?What Does the POEA Do?Anti-illegal Recruitment and OFW Protection:Overseas Employment Facilitation:Upholding Philippine Migration and Overseas Employment Laws:Four Key POEA Services for Prospective OFWs1. Recruitment Agency Status Verification2. POEA Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar3. Frontline Services4. Overseas Employment Certificate ProcessingFinal Thoughts What is POEA? The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), manages the country’s overseas employment program. The agency helps secure the best employment terms for Filipino migrant workers and protects their rights to fair and ethical recruitment practices. It is also mainly responsible for regulating all recruitment agencies in the Philippines. The POEA works closely with…

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How the Proposed SSS Contribution Hike Will Affect You

The Social Security System has recently proposed an increase in the SSS contribution rate to 14% from the current 11%. SSS also plans to raise the minimum monthly salary credit (MSC) to PHP 4,000 from PHP 1,000, and the maximum MSC to PHP 20,000 from PHP 16,000. This will raise the minimum contribution to PHP 560 from PHP 110 and the maximum contribution to PHP 2,800 from PHP 1,760. As of this writing, President Rodrigo Duterte is still studying the proposal and has yet to decide on it. If the president approves the SSS contribution hike, expect to see an adjustment in your payroll deductions starting in April. Is the impending SSS contribution hike something to worry about? Once it’s implemented, it will certainly have an impact on the state-run agency’s over 36 million registered members. Table of ContentsMinimal Impact on Your Take-Home PayHigher SSS BenefitsLonger SSS Fund LifeFinal Thoughts Minimal Impact on Your Take-Home Pay Although the 3% contribution hike will lead to higher salary deductions, employees won’t feel the effect that much. According to former Social Security Commission Chairman Amado Valdez[1], employers will pay two-thirds of the total contribution, while employees will shoulder only one-third of it. Specifically, the proposed 14% contribution rate will be shared by employers at 8.87% and employees at 5.13%. Presently, the employer share is 7.37%, and the employee share is 3.63%. In short, your employer will pay the bigger share of your higher monthly SSS contributions[2]. Consider also the effect of the tax reform or TRAIN law, specifically the lower income tax, on your…

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What to Do if Your Employer Fails to Pay Your SSS Contributions

You’ve applied for an SSS salary loan to meet an urgent cash need. But then, your application got declined just when you need to borrow money badly. It’s frustrating and heartbreaking. You wonder why it happened—you were sure you’re qualified for that loan. You’ve had more than 36 monthly SSS contributions deducted from your salary. You’ve also submitted all the loan requirements. What could have gone wrong? Have you verified if your employer has remitted all your SSS contributions? Even though all these contributions are deducted from your monthly pay, it’s likely that your company has failed to remit them to SSS for several months (or even years.) Two lessons learned: check your posted SSS contributions regularly and hold your employer accountable for non-remittance of your SSS payments. Table of ContentsKnow Your RightsTalk to Your EmployerIf Nothing Happens, File a Complaint with the SSSHow to File a Complaint for Failure to Remit SSS ContributionsFinal Thoughts Know Your Rights As an SSS member, you’re protected by law against negligence or non-compliance of your employer when it comes to paying SSS contributions. The Social Security Act of 1997 (Republic Act 8282) requires all employers in the Philippines to deduct the monthly SSS contributions from their employees’ salaries, pay their share of contributions, and remit these contributions to the SSS on time. Employers must also submit the monthly report of their employees’ contributions to the nearest SSS office. Employers who violate the Social Security Law will be fined PHP 5,000 to PHP 20,000 or jailed for at least six years. They must also remit…

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What SSS Benefits are Exclusive to OFWs?

Even if they’re based abroad, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) can still avail of benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) that Philippine-based members enjoy. On top of that, OFWs are entitled to two exclusive SSS benefits and privileges: the Flexi Fund Program and the Overseas Filipino Workers SSS Coverage Program. Table of Contents1. SSS Flexi Fund Program How does Flexi Fund work?What benefits can OFWs gain from it?Who can enroll in the program?How to register as a Flexi Fund member2. Overseas Filipino Workers SSS Coverage ProgramWhat SSS benefits can OFWs get under this program?How much is the monthly SSS contribution for OFWs?How to register as an OFW-memberFinal Thoughts 1. SSS Flexi Fund Program As an OFW, building your retirement fund may be the least of your priorities now because of your family obligations and debt repayments. Relying solely on the SSS pension is a bad idea, as it isn’t enough to cover all your living expenses in your retirement years. As early as possible and while you’re earning from your overseas job, look for ways to supplement your SSS pensions. One of the great options is the SSS Flexi Fund Program. Launched in 2001, this program is a voluntary savings-investment plan for OFWs who want to save and earn additional income. How does Flexi Fund work? Under this program, SSS invests the members’ funds in low-risk, stable fixed-income securities that guarantee earnings for OFW-members. Interest rates are based on 91-day Treasury bill rates[1] or SSS’ short-term peso placements, whichever is higher. Are you an enrolled member? You can add a minimum of…

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SSS Salary Loan and Housing Loan: A Guide for OFWs

About 1.3 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are registered members of the Social Security System (SSS), according to SSS data. If you’re one of them, know that you can apply for an SSS salary loan, an SSS housing loan, or both. Check out this comprehensive guide on the SSS loans for OFWs. Table of Contents1. SSS Salary Loan for OFWsHow much can OFWs borrow from SSS?How long is the loan repayment period?How much are the interest and fees?Who are qualified?What are the required documents?How can OFWs apply for an SSS salary loan?2. SSS Housing Loan for OFWsWhat can the loan be used for?How much can OFWs borrow?How long is the housing loan repayment period?What are the interest rate and fees?Who are qualified?Does the housing loan require a collateral?How can OFWs apply for an SSS housing loan?Final ThoughtsLooking for a financial product? Click the box below to connect with our financial advisors. 1. SSS Salary Loan for OFWs Just like other regular SSS members, OFWs also can avail of a salary loan to meet their immediate cash needs. How much can OFWs borrow from SSS? Two types of loanable amounts are available to prospective borrowers: a one-month salary loan and a two-month salary loan. The one-month loan is the average of the borrower’s latest 12 posted monthly salary credits (MSCs) that are rounded to the next higher MSC or the desired loan amount, whichever is lower. The two-month loan is twice the average of the borrower’s latest posted MSCs that are rounded to the next higher MSC or the desired loan amount,…

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SSS Online Employer Registration: A Guide for Companies and Employers

As an entrepreneur, HR officer, or someone who employs household workers, you know how tedious it can be to transact with multiple government agencies. So many reports to process and submit, so little time. Good thing, Social Security System (SSS) has an online facility that literally does away with the paperwork for the extremely busy employer in the Philippines. All you have to do is to go their official website for an SSS online employer registration. Keep on reading to learn more about SSS’s online portal and how you can register as an employer. Table of ContentsWhat is My.SSS? Benefits to EmployersHow to Get SSS Employer Number?SSS Online Employer Registration StepsStep 1: Accomplish the online employer registration formStep 2: Verify your SSS online employer accountStep 3: Wait for a confirmation email from SSSFrequently Asked QuestionsIs there a fee for SSS Online Employer Registration?Is My.SSS Secured? What if my I registered a user ID or email address that already exists?What should I do if my online registration fails?Will I receive proofs of transactions made through My.SSS?Can I get a Payment Reference Number (PRN) online and a Contribution Collection List (CCL) online?What should I do if I need to change my company’s registered email address or authorized signatory?How can I change other details as an employer?Final Thoughts What is My.SSS? My.SSS is an online portal that allows SSS members to access contributions and membership records. Through the website, members and employers can make online transactions, set appointments with their SSS servicing branch, and request copies of records. Members and employers are required…

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5 Reasons Why the Tax Reform Law is Good for Us

Starting in the first payday of 2018, some six million Filipino workers should see an income tax reduction in their payslip, thanks to the newly implemented Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act. The TRAIN law or Republic Act 10963[1], which took effect on January 1, 2018, is the first of five tax reform packages for a simpler, fair, and efficient tax system. Essentially, TRAIN lowers personal income tax, simplifies the estate and donor’s tax, and expands the value-added tax (VAT) range. On the other hand, it increases excise taxes on fuel, mineral products, vehicles, and cigarettes. It also imposes new taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and cosmetic procedures. Revenues collected from TRAIN will fund the government’s infrastructure and socio-economic programs. What does this mean to an ordinary employee like you? Is it good or bad news? According to the government, the benefits of tax reform will outweigh the effect of price hikes[2] resulting from the higher excise taxes. That remains to be seen. For now, be hopeful and look at the good effects of this new law on your personal finance. Table of Contents1. Higher Take-Home Pay2. Fair Tax System3. Higher Tax Exemption Cap for 13th Month Pay4. Simpler Tax Filing and Payment5. Higher VAT Threshold and New ExemptionsFinal Thoughts 1. Higher Take-Home Pay Since the time you received your first-ever salary, you’ve been dreading to check your payslips. It really hurts to see huge taxes being deducted from your hard-earned money. Now, you can heave a sigh of relief because if your gross monthly salary is PHP 21,000 or…

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What are the Differences Between Pag-IBIG Multi-Purpose and SSS Salary Loans?

For cash-strapped Pinoys, the Pag-IBIG Fund and SSS Salary Loans are among the top-of-mind choices when it comes to borrowing money. These government-issued personal loans offer low interest rates and convenient repayment methods. Getting a personal loan is also a great way to maximize your membership with these government agencies. Pag-IBIG multi-purpose loans provide short-term financial assistance to more than 2 million members every year. They can be used to pay for a wide range of expenses, including education, home improvement, health, and livelihood. On the other hand, SSS salary loans are cash loans designed to meet immediate financial needs of qualified SSS members. Are you choosing between these two government loans to borrow money? It’s a good idea to compare them first to know their differences and find out which one suits you better. To help you make the right decision, here is a quick look at the two government-issued personal loans based on their eligibility requirements and features. Table of ContentsWhat are the Pag-IBIG and SSS Loan Requirements?Pag-IBIG loan requirementsSSS loan requirementsHow Much Can You Borrow from Pag-IBIG and SSS?Pag-IBIG loan amountSSS loan amountWhat are the Pag-IBIG and SSS Loan Interest Rates and Fees?Interest ratesLoan processing feesLate payment penaltiesHow Long Does it Take for Pag-IBIG and SSS to Process Loans?How Do Pag-IBIG and SSS Release a Loan?What are the Repayment Terms of Pag-IBIG and SSS Salary Loans?Final ThoughtsLooking for a personal loan? Click the link below to connect with our financial advisors: What are the Pag-IBIG and SSS Loan Requirements? The first thing you have to check is whether you qualify or not for a personal loan from…

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Pag-IBIG Fund Benefits

What makes you cringe every time you check your payslip? Yes, it’s the tax and other numbers deducted from your salary. While it’s normal to feel bad about parting with your hard-earned money (who doesn’t?), know that those deductions, including your Pag-IBIG contributions, are for your own good. Think of them as forced savings, investments, and insurance that will help you and your family during financial emergencies or when you buy a home or retire. You’ll realize the value of paying your monthly contributions when you need to avail of a benefit. But before you get to that, learn how to maximize your Pag-IBIG Fund benefits to get the most out of your contributions and to avoid problems when you claim your benefits. Read more: 9 Useful Pag-IBIG Benefits You Should Know About Table of ContentsHow to Maximize Your Pag-IBIG Fund Benefits1. Verify Your Pag-IBIG ContributionsHow to inquire about your Pag-IBIG contributions:2. Enroll in the Pag-IBIG Savings Program3. Increase Your Monthly Pag-IBIG Contributions4. Get a Pag-IBIG Loyalty CardFinal Thoughts How to Maximize Your Pag-IBIG Fund Benefits 1. Verify Your Pag-IBIG Contributions When you need to apply for a multi-purpose loan or a housing loan, you can’t just go straight to a Pag-IBIG branch without making sure that you’re qualified for a loan. To get approved for any Pag-IBIG loan, you must be an active member and have paid at least 24 monthly contributions. You must also have paid at least five contributions for the past 6 months before your loan application date. If you’re a regular employee, your company may not be…

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Expecting a Baby Soon? Don’t Ignore These PhilHealth Maternity Benefits and Rules

Excited about the arrival of your new bundle of joy? You must be pumped up thinking of possible names, decorating the nursery room, and shopping for newborn clothes. Now, let’s get to the practical stuff: are you ready to bear the costs of having a baby? It’s expensive to give birth in the Philippines. For a normal child delivery in Metro Manila, be prepared to spend from PHP 5,000 (for a charity ward in a public hospital) to over PHP 100,000 (for a small private room in a private hospital). Caesarian delivery costs much more. Add to that the prenatal care costs such as supplements, vaccinations, regular ob-gyn check-ups, and ultrasound scans. These facts aren’t meant to scare you, but rather to highlight the importance of being financially ready before your baby is born. A money-smart strategy to manage your newborn expenses is to get a personal loan for your maternity bills. You can also cut down your childbearing costs by knowing the PhilHealth maternity benefits and how to qualify for Philhealth’s insurance coverage. Here are five important things every expectant parent should know about PhilHealth maternity coverage. Table of Contents1. The expectant mom must be a PhilHealth member to avail of maternity benefits.2. PhilHealth contributions must be up-to-date.3. PhilHealth maternity benefits cover prenatal care, delivery, and newborn care costs.Maternity Care Package (MCP)Normal Spontaneous Delivery Package (NSD)Other PhilHealth-covered DeliveriesNewborn Care Package (NCP)4. Maternity and newborn care packages have limitations.5. You must know when and how to file your PhilHealth maternity claims.Final Thoughts 1. The expectant mom must be a PhilHealth…

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Professional License Guide for Uber and Grab Drivers

Since its launch, Grab and Uber have been attracting more riders to use its services. According to the Uber General Manager Laurence Cua, 682,000 passengers took an Uber ride just from September to October 2016. The increasing patronage of Filipinos has enticed the public on signing up for these ride-sharing apps to earn extra money. A common notion for people who are interested in signing up is that if you have a driver’s license and a registered car, you can easily sign up for their network. It may seem like a rented private car but cars used for Uber and Grab are classified as Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), which simply means an application-based Public Utility Vehicle (PUV). This requires drivers of ride-sharing application to get a professional driver’s license. This is more tedious than getting a non-professional driver’s license. But how do you do it? Here are the steps: You should be at least eighteen (18) years old. You should be able to operate a motor vehicle. You should be able to understand and communicate in Filipino, English or the applicable local dialect through reading, speaking and writing. For driving vehicles under Restriction Codes 1,2,4 and 6 – you should have a valid Student Permit (SP) issued at least six (6) months prior to the application. For driving vehicles under Restriction Codes 3,5,7 and 8 – you should have a valid Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL) at least one (1) year prior to the application or PDL holder with RC 1,2,4 and 6 for a period of at least six (6) months…

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DBM Issues Guidelines for 2nd Pay Adjustment for Gov’t Employees

The second of four tranches provided in the proposed Salary Standardization Law has gone into effect as of January 1, 2017. This comes after former president Benigno Aquino III signed Executive Order 201 last year, effectively making the interim measure to increase the salary of government employees permanent. The Budget Department announced that all government employees are to receive higher salaries this year, which has already been accounted for in the 2017 national budget. Table of ContentsWho’s getting a raise?How it worksFurther increasesFinal thoughts Who’s getting a raise? Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a press briefing earlier in the month that the next round of increases includes civilian and military employees – teachers, health workers, soldiers, policemen, and all other civil servants – are to receive a higher take-home pay as part of the current administration’s pledge to raise compensation. President Rodrigo Duterte said in a statement today: “These are the people who help and protect the Philippines. We want them to feel satisfied about their jobs, inspire them to be more productive workers and allow them to provide for their families. Raising their wages is only just.” How it works EO 201, which grants a compensation adjustment to government workers and additional allowances for Military and Uniformed Personnel (MUP) in four separate tranches, the first of which was in 2016. Pursuant to said legislation, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released National Budget Circular No. 568 and Local Budget Circular No. 113, which implements the second tranche of adjustments. National Budget Circular No. 568 provides the rules…

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Why the SSS Pension Hike Won’t Come Easily

One of the last hot-button issues that plagued the Aquino administration was the demand to raise pensions all around. Where the former President vetoed the proposed bill that would add an extra Php 2,000 across-the-board increase in the monthly pension of SSS members, then-candidate Rodrigo Duterte stated that he would make it his mission to see the bill through. Fast-forward to after the elections, and now-president Duterte has put the bill in limbo, stating that he’s eyeing a “win-win situation” with regard to the bill and how it would affect pensioners today and in the future. The question of why the SSS pension hike won’t come easily is tricky to answer, but here’s a look at the factors that may determine why the president hasn’t approved it yet. Table of ContentsThe SSS fundingIncome taxesFinal thoughts The SSS funding One of the reasons cited by former president Aquino for his veto of the bill was that while it would benefit over 2 million pensioners, it would burden 30 million SSS members. House Bill No. 5842 would have provided the additional amount to pensioners but would have also “seriously compromised the stability of the entire SSS system” according to Aquino’s statement on the veto. The same sentiment has been echoed by President Duterte’s economic management team, further stating that the proposed bill could undercut the agency’s funding in as soon as ten years. The SSS funding has been originally projected to last until 2042. This increase could fully wipe out the agency’s funding by 2027, something that former President Aquino’s staff also advised him of. The state-run agency is constantly looking for ways to bolster its revenue. One…

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What Can You Buy with the Php 2,000 SSS Pension Hike

During his time as a candidate, President Rodrigo Duterte made a promise to raise the pension provided by the Social Security System. The petition was originally denied by then-President Aquino’s administration but has been passed into law by the Senate as of November 9, 2016. Fifteen senators voted to pass the bill that would grant a Php 2,000 across-the-board increase in the pension of retired SSS members. Now that this bill has been passed, the extra Php 2,000 could go a long way. But what can you buy with the Php 2,000 SSS pension hike? Here are a few things the retirees in your family could use it for. Table of ContentsMedicinesGroceriesEntertainmentFinal thoughts Medicines While most retirees are hale and healthy, some will require medicines to maintain their tip-top health. With medicine prices fluctuating, it’s ideal to get the generic brands of medicine to save on costs. A bottle of ibuprofen that could be used to treat arthritis costs about Php 61.86, while adult multivitamins cost about Php 6 to 8 per tablet. Insulin, used to treat glucose imbalances in diabetics, costs between Php 341.90 to Php 420 for disposable injections. The extra amount added to a retiree’s pension could potentially help offset these costs. Groceries According to Numbeo, the cost for at least two weeks’ worth of groceries for a family of four averages at about Php 1,500. That accounts for three meals a day, plus coffee for the adults, and snacks. The additional amount could mean a few treats for grandchildren or additional supplies around the home for the retiree who loves to cook or bake. This is a welcome addition to many households that are made up of retirees and younger adults that are in the workforce. Given the rising cost of living, the…

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Get to Know the Exact Change Act

You’ve probably had to deal with the issue of paying for something with a larger bill only to be asked for a smaller one instead. In other cases, you’ve probably gotten candy as change because the store didn’t have any coins or smaller bills. To quote the campaign slogan used by President Duterte, “Change is coming.” The Exact Change Bill became an official law at the end of July after Malacañang didn’t act on it after a 30-day period. So what is the Exact Change Act? How will it affect consumers? Table of ContentsWhat is it?What happens?How does it affect you?Final thoughts What is it? Republic Act 10909, also known as the The Exact Change Act, aims to protect consumers from losing money to sellers or businesses that do not give the exact change to their customers. After the bill was ratified by the Congress in June, it was sent to Malacañang for President Aquino’s signature. The period of 30 days to sign it has lapsed, and the bill passed into law shortly after. According to the law, it now becomes unlawful for any business establishment – regardless of size – to give insufficient change or no change at all to consumers who have purchased or received products or services of any amount. It also means that businesses can no longer give out other forms of change, such as candies. It also requires signs on every counter that state “Demand your exact change.” What happens? While the bill proposes that price tags in establishments show the exact retail of any item, it also asks retailers to break down all…

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Duterte Proposal on Implementing Non-Essentials Tax

Are you willing to pay more for your new car? President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his planned policy reforms even before his proclamation on June 30, 2016 as the Philippines’ new President. A lot of people are divided over some of these policies, but one of the most divisive ones is the fact that he is willing to consider imposing higher levies on non-essential items. According to a report from the Tax Management Association of the Philippines (TMAP), the President-elect is considering higher taxes for items that are considered non-essential, like alcohol, and luxury cars. The report also stated that Duterte has no plans to raise the VAT or taxes on cigarettes and other so-called “sin” products. What could happen if he pushes through with implementing non-essential taxes? Table of ContentsWhat is considered “non-essential”?How does it affect you?What could happen?Final Thoughts What is considered “non-essential”? All taxes levied on non-essential items are called Excise Tax. This is the tax imposed on products made and sold locally and imported products. Among these are alcohol products, tobacco products, automobiles, petroleum, and mineral products. Essentially, all of these products are levied a tax, which leads to these items gaining markup based on a standard retail price, or for imported items, due to costs of importing. These goods are considered non-essential because they aren’t part of everyday consumption and needs. How does it affect you? While the TMAP has confirmed that the President-elect is amenable to raising taxes on non-essential goods, it will affect you directly. Higher taxes on cars may make your dream car more expensive than the original price, and you will pay more for your favorite beer. Despite the definition of “non-essentials” of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Duterte doesn’t plan…

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Need an SSS Loan? Here’s How to Apply

  The Social Security System, or the social insurance program for private employees in the Philippines, offers two types of loans: salary and calamity loans. Salary loans depend on the monthly wage of employees, while calamity loans can be obtained if they live in an area declared to have suffered from natural calamities. Here is how to apply for a salary loan from SSS. Be sure to meet the qualifications and prepare the necessary requirements. Read More: Personal Loan – What to Compare When You Compare Qualifications  A borrower or member must have 36 monthly contributions before the month of filing or 72 recorded monthly contributions if you plan to file for a two-month loan. Additionally, if you are employed, your employer must have up-to-date loan remittances and monthly contributions. You must also have up-to-date payments of other loans acquired such as housing loans from the Unified Home Lending Program (UHLP) of the government. In addition, “final” benefits should not have been granted to you, including retirement and death benefits. Procedures There are actually two ways to apply: personal or online. To apply personally, visit an SSS branch and submit a duly filled-up application form together with your SSS ID or E-6 Form and at least two valid IDs with signature. At least one of the IDs presented should have your photo. After submitting requirements, it takes two to three weeks of loan processing. You can get your loan check from your employer if you are a full-time employee. Self-employed members need to pick it up from the branch. Members who registered on their website can also apply for a salary loan online through the…

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3 Facts about the No Contact Apprehension Policy

If you’re a fan of science fiction, you’re familiar to the possibility of using technology to enforce traffic laws, or to stop crimes in progress. In 2011, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority tested out a No-Contact Apprehension policy, which aims to increase the apprehension of traffic violators that on-ground traffic personnel is unable to. If you’re curious on what the No Contact Apprehension policy means, here are some answers to your burning questions. Table of ContentsWhat is it?How it worksWhy do this?Final Thoughts What is it? The No Contact Apprehension policy – or the No Physical Contact Apprehension program – was developed by the MMDA to penalize traffic violators even if they aren’t physically caught by an enforcer. It won’t be a replacement for physical apprehension, but an additional way for violators to be caught. Under this program, “Swerving” is still not a violation, but changing lanes can still be considered the offense of reckless driving if done without proper precautions. Under the policy, violators will be detected through the use of footage culled from the agency’s network of CCTV cameras. How it works In addition to footage from CCTV, violators may be penalized through footage from smartphones and digital cameras. The policy dictates that those caught with “moving violations” will be served notice regarding the violation. They will be given seven days from the receipt of the notice to settle the fines or contest the violation with the MMDA’s traffic adjudication division. The footage will archive violators’ license plate numbers, and those who fail to settle the violation after a final notice will have their records handed over to the Land Transportation Office with a recommendation to prevent the car’s registration renewal until such a time…

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What’s Being Done to Fix the Philippine Tax System

Filing taxes – it’s one of the most pressing concerns of the Filipino people come tax season. From the high tax rates to the tedious filing process, the Philippine tax system is under plenty of scrutinies. Just recently, auditing and tax advising firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) released its Paying Taxes 2015 study. The research provided tax-related information on 189 economies. Data included in the study are the total tax rate per country, the average number of hours taken to file taxes (for companies), and various case studies from different economies. The Problems The Philippines ranked 127th out of 189 economies when it comes to the ease of paying taxes. The country ranks behind even Iraq and Afghanistan, two countries plagued with war and political crises. In the Philippines, it takes 193 hours to pay 36 kinds of taxes (for companies) versus the 4 tax payments in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, both tied in 1st place. For UAE-based companies, it takes 12 hours to pay the 4 taxes while it takes 41 hours for those in Qatar. Below are difficulties Philippine taxpayers and corporations encounter during tax season: difficult tax structure inefficient filing process inaccessibility of the online platform multiple documentary requirements (for self-employed individuals) outdated tax rates With the problems above, it’s no surprise it takes almost 200 hours to file and pay taxes in the Philippines. Just last April 15, during filing season, Filipinos expressed distress over the BIR’s e-filing system. A month before the deadline for filing taxes, the BIR issued a new regulation mandating that all taxpayers…

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