THIS one was long overdue.
In a landmark move, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) tied up with the Social Security System (SSS) for a deal that would assure national athletes and coaches of pension funds and other benefits.
Signing the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Tuesday were PSC Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez and SSS chief executive officer Aurora Ignacio.
“Marami na kaming mga athletes na sikat na namatay na lang yung iba, yung iba nasa hospital at walang ganitong benepisyo. Kaya malaking bagay ito,” said Ramirez.
“I’m sure the athletes will feel the debt of gratitude of having this opportunity. And I’m happy about this, I cannot expressed my thanks to the SSS.”
Ignacio said it’s high time that athletes, coaches, and trainers are given ample protection not only during their peak years but more so once they retired from active competition.
“Kailangan silang bigyan ng proteksyon gaya nga ng sabi ng Presidente. Maraming atleta na tumatanda na lang at hindi sila natutulungan sa pagpapa-ospital sa kanilang pagtanda. So with the SSS coverage hindi lang ‘ho yung sickness at disability ang makukuha nila, there are other benefits lalo na sa mga atletang babae.” said Ignacio.
Although considered an informal sector, athletes and coaches are all considered as employed, according to the SSS chief.
“Kaya lang hindi sila kagaya ng usual na empleyado na formally registered, pumapasok ng 8-5 p.m. Actually ang athletes at coaches ay talagang more than 8-5 p.m. More than five days a week. So kailangan talagang bigyan sila ng proteksyon,”Ignacio stressed.
SSS members should complete at least 120 months contribution or beyond in order to enjoy SSS pension.
“Kung umalis sila sa pagiging atleta, puwede ring nilang ituloy ito,” Ignacio said. “Nasa sa kanila rin yan kaya kailangan gabayan din na hindi nila itigil ang contribution para makuha naman nila yung maximum benefit that they are entitled.”