A COMMITTEE at the House of Representatives approved on first reading a bill granting an initial 70% subsidy on the Social Security System (SSS) contributions of self-employed persons with disabilities (PWDs).

The Committee on PWDs approved House Bill 2806, which authorizes subsidies on the first three months’ SSS payments of self-employed PWDs.

The Committee’s Chair, Representative Ma. Lourdes T. Arroyo said at the hearing that the measure passed “subject to style.”

Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez said in the bill’s explanatory note that PWDs “must be commended for their sheer determination to rise above their own limitations” and expressed the hope that such legislation encourages PWDs to become members of the pension fund to help them be “better prepared (for the) exigencies of sickness and old age.”

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said at the hearing that the subsidy is expected to cost the government over P200 billion if the program is offered to PWD members of the SSS.

“If this was implemented by 2022, it will (lead to) a reduction in the National Government share of P234 billion which will be added to the local government units’ internal revenue allotment,” according to Jane V. Abella, an assistant director with the DBM’s Budget and Management Bureau-C, which oversees budgeting for government-owned and -controlled corporations. — Gillian M. Cortez