File photo by Noel Celis/AFP
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a P10,000-increase in the funeral benefits of private sector and government employees.
Duterte signed Executive Order 33 on Monday, July 17, ordering an increase of Employees' Compensation Funeral Benefits from P20,000 to P30,000. The increase covers employees in private companies and government offices.
The EO was released to media on Wednesday, July 19.
The order comes after the Employees' Compensation Commission (ECC) two board resolutions approving the increase in benefits in May and July 2016.
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In issuing EO 33, the President said, "The current Employees’ Compensation (EC) Funeral Benefit for both the private and public sectors is no longer sufficient to cover ordinary funeral costs."
Duterte signed the EO after the Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System conducted studies showing that the State Insurance Fund can finance the increase in funeral benefits without affecting the fund's stability and without requiring additional contributions.
The ECC, SSS, and GSIS were ordered to appropriate and release the funds needed to cover the increase in funeral benefits.
The Federation of Free Workers welcomed the increase in funeral benefits in a statement on Wednesday.
"We welcome the increase in the employment compensation funeral benefits for employees in the private and public sector from 20,000 to 30,000 to help defray the costs families have to pay for in laying to rest a fallen breadwinner," the group said.
But they expressed hope for an increase in pension instead of just a "one-time increase at the end of the road."
"This will have a more lasting impact for the orphaned family of the worker," said the group.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.