Call to improve unemployment benefits in the Philippines

PHILIPPINES: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has flagged the country’s social insurance program for renewal, saying it offers only “limited coverage” of unemployment benefits.

In its most recent report on its headquarters market, ADB said the Philippines’ Social Security System should expand its services. It should include a well-funded unemployment insurance scheme so that workers may be provided with “income stability during major economic shocks and disruptions to the labour market”.

The ADB added that a competent unemployment insurance program can enhance workers’ productivity, stabilise consumption, and serve as an automatic stabiliser in times of economic crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Uemployment benefits were only mandated in 2019. Under the provision, qualified members may receive a monthly cash benefit equivalent to 50% of their average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months after the wind-up of their original employment.

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