Press Release
May 15, 2012

Senate gives nod to treaty on social benefits

The Senate today approved on final reading a resolution which concurs in the ratification of a treaty on social security between the Philippines and Spain.

Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee and principal sponsor of Senate Resolution No. 751, said the ratification of the treaty will ensure that some 12, 638 Filipinos working in Spain will be covered by social security benefits.

"A covered Filipino and his dependents will be eligible for social security benefits under the same conditions as nationals in Spain. In the same manner, Spanish nationals working in the Philippines will be eligible to social security benefits under the same conditions as their Filipino counterparts," Legarda said.

SRN 751 garnered 18 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and zero abstention.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the resolution will promote full employment and equality of opportunities for Filipinos working in countries like Spain, which the Philippines has bilateral social security agreements with.

"Our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are heroes in their own right. Over the years, they have contributed in nation-building and economic progress. The government, including the Senate, intends to pursue initiatives to promote mutual cooperation on the field of social security with countries that host a sizeable number of Filipino migrants," Enrile stressed.

According to Legarda, the Philippines has signed bilateral social security agreements with Austria, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, France, Canada, Switzerland and Belgium.

Under the treaty with Spain, she said, Filipinos will continue to receive social security benefits whether they decide to settle in the Philippines, Spain or any other country.

Legarda said social security benefits will include maternity and sickness, retirement package, disability payment, work-related injury and occupational illness compensation, among others.

"We must pursue initiatives that will help uplift the lives of our overseas workers and help secure their retirement in the twilight of their years. The approval of this amendatory Convention which has been pending for 10 years now is therefore imperative" Legarda said.

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