Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

Welcome to our legal news pages. Here is where we provide updates about what's happening in Philippines legal news, and publish helpful articles and tips for Pinoys researching legal matters.

Social Security Law: Understanding Benefits and Contributions in the Philippines

The Social Security System (SSS) in the Philippines is a government agency that provides social security protection to employees in the private sector, self-employed individuals, and members of certain government agencies. The system was established in 1957 to ensure that individuals are protected from the financial risks that come with unexpected life events, such as retirement, disability, sickness, and death.

Benefits under the Social Security Law

The benefits provided by the Social Security Law in the Philippines are intended to help members and their families cope with the financial impact of these events. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the benefits under the Social Security Law:

Retirement Benefit

The retirement benefit is payable to a member who has paid at least 120 monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement and has reached the age of 60. The amount of the benefit depends on the member's number of contributions and the amount of the member's average monthly salary credit.

Disability Benefit

The disability benefit is payable to a member who becomes totally and permanently disabled and has paid at least 36 monthly contributions prior to the semester of disability. The benefit amount is based on the member's average monthly salary credit.

Sickness Benefit

The sickness benefit is payable to a member who is unable to work due to sickness or injury for a maximum of 180 days. The benefit amount is equivalent to 90% of the member's average daily salary credit.

Maternity Benefit

The maternity benefit is payable to a female member who has paid at least 3 monthly contributions in the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of childbirth. The benefit amount is equivalent to 100% of the member's average daily salary credit.

Funeral Benefit

The funeral benefit is a lump-sum benefit payable to the beneficiaries of a deceased member who has paid at least one monthly contribution. The benefit amount ranges from PHP 20,000 to PHP 40,000, depending on the member's number of contributions.

Death Benefit

The death benefit is payable to the beneficiaries of a deceased member who has paid at least 36 monthly contributions prior to the semester of death. The benefit amount is a lump-sum equivalent to the member's average monthly salary credit multiplied by the number of credited years of service.

Other Benefits and Services offered by the Social Security System

Members of the SSS can also avail themselves of other benefits such as salary loans, housing loans, and educational loans, among others. These benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to members in times of need.


Contributions to the SSS are made on a monthly basis by both the employer and the employee. The monthly contribution rate is based on the member's monthly salary credit (MSC), which ranges from a minimum of PHP 3,000 to a maximum of PHP 20,000. The current contribution rate is 12% of the employee's MSC, with the employer shouldering 8.5% and the employee 3.5%. Self-employed and voluntary members pay the entire contribution, which is 12% of their declared monthly earnings based on the prescribed schedule of contributions.

Members can check their contributions and apply for benefits online through the SSS website or through SSS branches and kiosks nationwide. It is important for members to keep track of their contributions and ensure that their contributions are up to date, as this will affect the amount of their benefits in the future.


In conclusion, the Social Security Law in the Philippines provides important benefits and protection to employees in the private sector, self-employed individuals, and members of certain government agencies. The benefits provided by the SSS help members and their families cope with the financial impact of unexpected life events. Members should be aware of their contributions and keep them up to date to ensure that they are eligible for these benefits when they need them.

Healthcare and Medical Law in the Philippines: Rights and Responsibilities for Patients and Providers

Healthcare and medical law are crucial components of the healthcare system in the Philippines. These laws are in place to regulate and ensure the rights and responsibilities of patients and healthcare providers. In this blog, we will provide a detailed overview of the rights and responsibilities of both patients and healthcare providers in the Philippines, emphasizing the importance of understanding and adhering to these rights and responsibilities in the delivery of safe and quality healthcare services.

Rights of Patients

As patients, individuals have certain fundamental rights when seeking healthcare services in the Philippines.

Right to Access Healthcare

Every individual has the right to access healthcare services without discrimination. This means that healthcare services should be provided in a timely and appropriate manner, regardless of the patient's ability to pay. No one should be denied healthcare services based on their socioeconomic status, age, gender, religion, or any other characteristic. This right is essential in ensuring that all individuals have equal opportunities to receive the healthcare they need to maintain their health and well-being.

Right to Informed Consent

Patients have the right to be fully informed about their medical condition, treatment options, risks, benefits, and alternatives before undergoing any medical intervention or treatment. Informed consent is a crucial ethical and legal principle that respects the autonomy and decision-making capacity of patients. Healthcare providers must provide patients with accurate and complete information in a language and manner that they can understand, and patients have the right to ask questions, seek clarifications, and make informed decisions about their healthcare.

Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

Patients have the right to privacy and confidentiality of their medical information. Healthcare providers are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of patient information and protect their privacy. This means that patients' medical information should only be disclosed to authorized individuals for the purpose of providing healthcare, and patients have the right to control the use and disclosure of their personal health information. Respecting patients' privacy and confidentiality is crucial in building trust and maintaining the confidentiality of the doctor-patient relationship.

Right to Quality Care

Patients have the right to receive quality healthcare services that meet accepted medical standards. This includes appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care based on evidence-based guidelines and best practices. Patients also have the right to be treated with dignity and respect by healthcare providers, regardless of their background or condition. Quality care is essential in ensuring that patients receive safe and effective healthcare services that are tailored to their needs and preferences.

Right to Refuse Treatment

Patients have the right to refuse medical treatment, except in cases where it is allowed by law. This means that patients have the autonomy to make decisions about their healthcare and can refuse treatments that they do not want or that conflict with their personal beliefs or values. However, there are exceptions to this right, such as in cases where the patient's condition is life-threatening or where the refusal of treatment would result in harm to others. It is important for healthcare providers to respect and consider the patient's decision while also providing appropriate information and guidance to help patients make informed decisions about their healthcare.

Responsibilities of Patients

Along with their rights, patients also have certain responsibilities in the healthcare process.

Provide Accurate Information

Patients have the responsibility to provide accurate and complete information to healthcare providers. This includes their medical history, symptoms, allergies, medications, and other relevant details that can help healthcare providers make an accurate diagnosis and provide appropriate care. Providing accurate information is crucial in ensuring that patients receive safe and effective healthcare services that are tailored to their individual needs.

Comply with Treatment Plans

Patients have the responsibility to comply with the treatment plans prescribed by their healthcare providers. This includes taking medications as instructed, following lifestyle changes, and attending follow-up appointments as scheduled. Compliance with treatment plans is essential in achieving the desired outcomes of healthcare interventions and ensuring the success of the treatment. Patients should also inform their healthcare providers of any difficulties or concerns they may have in complying with the treatment plan, so that appropriate adjustments can be made.

Respect Healthcare Providers

Patients have the responsibility to respect and cooperate with their healthcare providers. This includes treating healthcare providers with courtesy, following their instructions, and adhering to the policies and rules of the healthcare facility. Patients should also communicate openly and honestly with their healthcare providers, provide feedback on their care, and raise any concerns or complaints in a respectful manner. Building a collaborative and respectful relationship with healthcare providers promotes effective communication and enhances the quality of care.

Be Active Participants in their Healthcare

Patients have the responsibility to be active participants in their healthcare. This includes asking questions, seeking clarifications, and engaging in shared decision-making with their healthcare providers. Patients should also educate themselves about their medical condition, treatment options, and self-care measures to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Being actively engaged in their healthcare empowers patients to make informed choices and take ownership of their health.

Rights and Responsibilities of Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers, on the other hand, also have certain rights and responsibilities in the delivery of healthcare services.

Rights of Healthcare Providers:

  1. Right to Provide Care According to Professional Standards

Healthcare providers have the right to provide care according to accepted medical standards and best practices. This means that they have the autonomy to make clinical judgments, prescribe appropriate treatments, and provide care that is in the best interest of their patients, without undue interference from external sources. Healthcare providers should be able to exercise their professional judgment based on their expertise and knowledge to ensure that patients receive safe and effective care.

  1. Right to Respect and Professional Courtesy

Healthcare providers have the right to be treated with respect and professional courtesy by patients, their families, and colleagues. This includes being treated in a manner that is free from discrimination, harassment, and violence. Healthcare providers should also be able to work in a safe and conducive environment that allows them to provide care to the best of their abilities.

Responsibilities of Healthcare Providers:

  1. Provide Safe and Quality Care

Healthcare providers have the responsibility to provide safe and quality care to their patients. This includes adhering to professional standards, following evidence-based guidelines, and practicing within the scope of their expertise and competence. Healthcare providers should also continuously update their knowledge and skills to ensure that they are providing the best possible care to their patients.

  1. Respect Patients' Rights and Autonomy

Healthcare providers have the responsibility to respect and uphold the rights and autonomy of their patients. This includes obtaining informed consent, protecting patients' privacy and confidentiality, and respecting their choices and decisions about their healthcare. Healthcare providers should also communicate with patients in a compassionate and respectful manner, and involve them in the decision-making process to the extent possible.

  1. Communicate Effectively with Patients

Healthcare providers have the responsibility to communicate effectively with their patients. This includes providing information in a language and manner that patients can understand, listening to patients' concerns, and addressing their questions and doubts. Healthcare providers should also provide clear instructions about treatment plans, medications, and self-care measures, and encourage patients to ask questions and seek clarification.

  1. Collaborate with Colleagues and Healthcare Team

Healthcare providers have the responsibility to collaborate with their colleagues and the healthcare team to ensure coordinated and comprehensive care for patients. This includes effective communication, sharing of relevant information, and working together to develop and implement appropriate treatment plans. Healthcare providers should also respect and value the contributions of other healthcare professionals and work in a collaborative and interdisciplinary manner to optimize patient care.


In conclusion, understanding the rights and responsibilities of both patients and healthcare providers is crucial in the delivery of safe and quality healthcare services in the best interest of patients. Patients have the right to receive respectful, compassionate, and culturally competent care, and they also have the responsibility to actively participate in their healthcare and follow the agreed-upon treatment plan. Healthcare providers have the right to provide care according to professional standards, and they have the responsibility to provide safe, quality care, respect patients' rights and autonomy, communicate effectively, and collaborate with their colleagues.

By upholding these rights and responsibilities, patients and healthcare providers can work together in a collaborative partnership to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients. Effective communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making are essential components of this partnership. It is important for patients and healthcare providers to actively engage in open and honest communication, listen to each other's perspectives, and work together to develop and implement appropriate treatment plans.

In case of any concerns or grievances, patients and healthcare providers should follow appropriate channels for resolution, such as discussing with the healthcare facility or seeking guidance from relevant regulatory bodies or advocacy organizations. By working together in a collaborative and respectful manner, patients and healthcare providers can foster a positive healthcare environment that promotes patient safety, quality care, and improved health outcomes.

The Future of Waste Management in the Philippines: Ecological Solid Waste Management Act

The Philippines is facing a waste management problem that has negative effects on the environment and public health. In the year 2000, the government introduced the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, it is also known as the Republic Act No. 9003, to address this issue. The act advocates for proper solid waste management by implementing effective waste segregation, collection, transportation, and disposal practices. This blog will explore the key aspects of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and how it can lead to a more sustainable future for the Philippines.

Waste Management Hierarchy

The waste management hierarchy is a framework that prioritizes waste reduction and minimization, reuse, recycling, composting, and proper disposal as a last resort. By prioritizing waste reduction, the amount of waste generated can be reduced, which leads to less waste to manage. Reuse and recycling can also reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for pollution. Proper disposal is essential to prevent harmful substances from entering the environment.

Challenges Facing Waste Management in the Philippines

Despite the passage of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, the Philippines still faces several challenges in waste management. One of the key challenges is the lack of infrastructure and resources to properly manage and dispose of waste. Many local governments and communities lack the necessary equipment and facilities to properly collect, transport, and dispose of waste. Another challenge is changing attitudes and behavior towards waste. The law encourages public education and awareness campaigns to promote proper waste segregation, reduce waste generation, and promote the adoption of sustainable practices.

Partnerships and Innovative Technologies

To address the challenges facing waste management in the Philippines, partnerships between local government units, private sector entities, and civil society organizations can improve waste management infrastructure and practices. The establishment of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) is also encouraged to process and recycle waste. Innovative technologies can also improve waste management practices, such as the use of biodegradable plastics and waste-to-energy technologies.

Public Education and Awareness Campaigns

Public education and awareness campaigns play a vital role in promoting proper waste segregation, reducing waste generation, and promoting sustainable practices. Campaigns can include seminars, workshops, and community-based activities to educate individuals and communities on the importance of proper waste management. The adoption of sustainable practices, such as reducing plastic use and promoting composting, can also reduce waste generation and promote a more sustainable future.


The implementation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act is critical to the future of waste management in the Philippines. By prioritizing waste reduction and proper waste management practices, the country can address its waste management challenges and promote a more sustainable future for its citizens. However, challenges such as lack of infrastructure and changing attitudes towards waste require continued efforts from all sectors of society. Through partnerships, innovative technologies, and public education and awareness campaigns, the Philippines can build a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Understanding the Role of Law Enforcement Agencies in the Philippines

Law enforcement agencies in the Philippines play a crucial role in maintaining law and order, ensuring public safety, and upholding the rule of law in the country. These agencies are responsible for preventing and investigating crimes, apprehending offenders, and enforcing laws and regulations. The primary law enforcement agencies in the Philippines include the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Bureau of Customs, among others. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the functions and responsibilities of these agencies to gain a better understanding of their pivotal role in Philippine society.

Philippine National Police (PNP)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) serves as the national law enforcement agency of the Philippines. It is tasked with maintaining peace and order, preventing and detecting crimes, and enforcing laws throughout the country. The PNP handles a wide range of law enforcement duties, including traffic management, crime prevention, criminal investigation, and public safety services. Additionally, it is actively involved in counterterrorism efforts and maintaining peace and order during national emergencies.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) operates as the primary investigative body of the Philippine government. As an agency under the Department of Justice, the NBI conducts investigations on various crimes, particularly complex and high-profile cases, organized crime, corruption, and cybercrime. The NBI plays a crucial role in assisting with the prosecution of criminal cases and provides valuable forensic and laboratory services to support investigations.

Bureau of Customs (BOC)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the Philippines is responsible for enforcing customs laws and regulations. Its primary objective is to prevent smuggling and ensure the proper collection of customs duties and taxes. To achieve this, the BOC monitors the flow of goods across the country's borders, inspects cargoes, and apprehends individuals involved in illegal trade activities. By combating smuggling, the BOC contributes significantly to national security and the country's economic stability.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) serves as the primary agency tasked with combating illegal drugs in the Philippines. It focuses on drug law enforcement, intelligence gathering, and drug demand reduction programs. The PDEA works closely with other law enforcement agencies to disrupt drug trafficking operations, arrest drug offenders, and dismantle drug syndicates. Its efforts are crucial in addressing the drug problem, protecting public health, and safeguarding communities.

Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is responsible for fire prevention, suppression, and investigation in the Philippines. Its primary aim is to protect lives, properties, and the environment from the destructive effects of fire. In addition to fire-related responsibilities, the BFP provides emergency medical services and responds to other types of emergencies, including natural disasters. The BFP plays a crucial role in ensuring public safety during emergencies and preserving lives and properties.

Collaboration and Coordination

Law enforcement agencies in the Philippines understand the importance of collaboration and coordination. They work together to address various challenges related to crime, terrorism, illegal drugs, smuggling, and public safety. By sharing resources, information, and expertise, these agencies enhance their effectiveness and optimize their efforts. Collaboration among law enforcement agencies strengthens the overall security and stability of the country, ultimately creating a safe and secure environment for the Filipino people.


The role of law enforcement agencies in the Philippines is vital in promoting a safe and secure environment for the Filipino people and upholding the principles of justice and the rule of law. The Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Customs, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Fire Protection all contribute to maintaining public safety, preventing and investigating crimes, and addressing various challenges faced by Philippine society. Through their dedicated efforts, these agencies play a crucial role in maintaining law and order, protecting citizens, and upholding the integrity of the justice system. Their collaboration and coordination further enhance their effectiveness in addressing complex issues such as terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling, and emergency response. As society evolves, these law enforcement agencies adapt to new challenges and continuously strive to ensure the safety and well-being of the Filipino people. By understanding their duties, challenges, and impact, we can appreciate the significance of their work and support their efforts in creating a safer and more secure Philippines for all.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law: Preparedness and Response in the Philippines

The Philippines is a country prone to various natural disasters, such as typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods. These disasters pose significant risks to communities and have a detrimental impact on lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure. To address these challenges, the Philippine government enacted the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Law, also known as Republic Act No. 10121, on May 27, 2010. The DRRM Law is a comprehensive legislation that aims to reduce the vulnerability of communities to disasters, enhance their resilience, and improve the country's disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

Preparedness as a Key Component of the DRRM Law

Preparedness is a crucial component of the DRRM Law, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to mitigate the impact of disasters. The law mandates the creation of Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (LDRRMOs) in all levels of government, including barangay (village), municipal, city, provincial, and regional levels, to spearhead disaster risk reduction and management efforts. These offices are tasked with formulating and implementing local disaster risk reduction and management plans, coordinating with other government agencies, and conducting disaster drills and simulations to enhance preparedness.

The DRRM Law also highlights the importance of early warning systems and information dissemination. It requires the establishment of a comprehensive national and local early warning system that provides timely and accurate information to communities at risk. This includes weather advisories, flood alerts, earthquake warnings, and other relevant information that can help communities prepare and respond effectively to impending disasters. Moreover, the law mandates the integration of disaster risk reduction and management into the school curricula, to promote disaster awareness and education among the youth. This ensures that the younger generation is equipped with the knowledge and skills to respond to disasters.

Response and the Principle of "Build Back Better"

The DRRM Law emphasizes the principle of "Build Back Better," which promotes building back disaster-affected communities in a more resilient and sustainable manner. This principle emphasizes the importance of not just rebuilding what was lost, but also improving the resilience of communities to withstand future disasters. The law mandates the creation of a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP) and the establishment of a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to ensure a coordinated and efficient response during disasters.

The NDRRMC, composed of various government agencies, is responsible for coordinating disaster response efforts, including search and rescue, evacuation, relief operations, and post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation. The NDRRMC ensures that resources and assistance are deployed promptly and effectively to affected areas. The principle of "Build Back Better" also emphasizes the need to incorporate disaster risk reduction and management principles in the design and construction of infrastructure, buildings, and other facilities to make them more resilient to disasters in the future.

Participation of Stakeholders in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

The DRRM Law recognizes the importance of involving various stakeholders in disaster risk reduction and management efforts. It mandates the participation of civil society organizations, the private sector, and local communities in disaster risk reduction and management planning, implementation, and monitoring. This ensures that diverse perspectives and expertise are considered in the development and implementation of disaster risk reduction and management initiatives.

The law also highlights the need to include vulnerable groups, such as women, children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, in disaster risk reduction and management efforts. These groups are often disproportionately affected by disasters and may face unique challenges and vulnerabilities. The law mandates that appropriate assistance and accommodations be provided to these vulnerable groups to ensure their safety, well-being, and inclusion in disaster risk reduction and management efforts.


The DRRM Law in the Philippines is a comprehensive legislation that underscores the importance of disaster preparedness and response in reducing the vulnerability of communities to disasters. It highlights the need for proactive measures, early warning systems, and information dissemination to ensure that communities are well-prepared to face disasters. The principle of "Build Back Better" emphasizes the importance of resilient recovery and rehabilitation efforts to reduce the impact of future disasters.

Furthermore, the DRRM Law recognizes the significance of stakeholder participation in disaster risk reduction and management efforts. It promotes the involvement of civil society organizations, the private sector, and local communities in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of disaster risk reduction and management initiatives. It also underscores the inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as women, children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, to ensure their safety and inclusion in disaster risk reduction and management efforts.

Despite the significant strides made through the DRRM Law, there are still challenges in its implementation. Some of these challenges include limited resources, capacity gaps at the local level, and the need for continuous education and awareness among communities. However, efforts are being made by the Philippine government, along with various stakeholders, to address these challenges and enhance the country's disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

Passport Validity Extended To 10 Years

It is a breath of fresh air for all of us to know that the validity of passports has finally been extended from 5 years to 10 years. Now we don't have to endure long hours of waiting in line to get our passports.  As we all know the previous law only limited validity to 5 years. This law is known as the Republic Act No. 8239 otherwise known as the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 "Regular passports issued under this Act shall be valid for a period of five (5) years: Provided, however, That the issuing authority may limit the period of validity to less than five (5) years; whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country such restriction is necessary: Provided, finally, That a new passport may be issued to replace one which validity has expired, the old passport being returned to the holder after cancellation."

Amended by Republic Act No. 10928 Sec 10 states that:

" Regular passports issued under this Act shall be valid for a period of ten (10) years; Provided, however, that for individuals under (18) years of age, only a passport with five (5)-year validity shall be issued; Provided, further; that the issuing authority may limit the period of validity to less than ten (10) years, whenever in the national economic interest or political stability of the country such restriction is necessary."

The new law on the validity of passports will take effect in January 2018. There will be no additional cost to passport holders and applicants. The implementing rules and regulations of the new Philippine Passport Act have been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last August 2. 

The passports' validity cannot be extended immediately because the Department of Foreign Affairs will still need to notify other countries of the validity's extension.  

Are Poverty Alleviation Programs Successfully Implemented?

Poverty is one of the perennial problems plaguing the country. Various programs have been implemented to reduce the numbers of starving Filipinos. The system is said to target the poor by providing their basic needs such as food, water, shelter, education and more. However, poverty-stricken individuals are either unaware that such programs exist or they are not given proper assistance. For instance, a person would rather become an informal settler than be relocated in an area far from their source of income. Others will even resort to illegal means to provide food on their family's plate. They are well aware that their acts can land them in jail, but they do not have any choice but to bite the bullet. One step to alleviating poverty is to make people aware that these programs actually exist. The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) provides programs for the purpose of helping the poor improve their quality of life. Such programs are focused on providing free education for the deserving poor students, livelihood, microfinance services and more. NAPC shall:

(1) Source funds for the establishment of and augmentation to the Trust Fund; 

(2) Recommend to the appropriate government department or agency the accreditation of organizations and institutions that shall act as resource partners in conducting institutional development and capability building activities for accredited organizations and beneficiaries of microfinance and micro-enterprise programs;  

(3) Ensure that validation and monitoring activities are conducted for funded institutional development and capability building projects/programs/beneficiaries; and 

(4) Promote research and development work on livelihood and microfinance technology and publications/communications programs that assist the poor beneficiaries.

Sec. 11. Purposes of the People's Development Trust Fund (PDTF). — The earnings of the PDTF shall be utilized for the following purposes:

(1) Consultancy and training services for microfinance institutions and their beneficiaries on the establishment of the necessary support services, social and financial preparation of beneficiaries, preparation of plans and programs including fund sourcing and assistance, establishment of credit and savings monitoring and evaluation mechanisms; 

(2) Scholarships or training grants for microfinance staff and officers, and selected beneficiaries; 

(3) Community organizing for microfinance, livelihood and micro-enterprises training services; 

(4) Livelihood/micro-enterprise project/program feasibility studies and researches

(5) Savings mobilization and incentive programs, and other similar facilities; 

(6) Information and communication systems such as baseline surveys, development monitoring systems, socioeconomic mapping surveys, organizational assessments, and other similar activities; 

 (7) Legal and other management support services such as registration, documentation, contract review and enforcement, financial audit and operational assessment; 

 (8) Information dissemination of microfinance technology; and 

 (9) Other activities to support microfinance as approved by the designated agency administering the PDTF.

The PDTF may be accessed by the following:

(a) Registered microfinance organizations engaged in providing micro-enterprise services for the poor to enable them to become viable and sustainable; 

(b) Local government units providing microfinance and micro-enterprise programs to their constituents: Provided, That the PDTF shall not be used by the LGUs for personal services and maintenance and other operating expenses; and 

(c) Local government units undertaking self-help projects where at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the total earnings of the PDTF shall be used exclusively for the provision of materials and technical services.

Sec. 12. The role of Local Government Units (LGUs). — The local government units, through the local development councils of the province, city, municipality, or barangay shall be responsible for the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the National Anti-Poverty Action Agenda in their respective jurisdictions. The LGUs shall:

(a) Identify the poor in their respective areas based on indicators such as the minimum basic needs approach and the human development index, their location, occupation, nature of employment, and their primary resource base and formulate a provincial/city/municipality anti-poverty action agenda; 

 (b) Identify and source funding for specific social reform and poverty alleviation projects; 

(c) Coordinate, monitor and evaluate the efforts of local government units with the private sector on planning and implementation of the local action program for social reform and poverty alleviation; and 

(d) Coordinate and submit progress reports to the National Anti-Poverty Commission regarding their local action programs.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as diminishing the powers granted to the local government units under the Local Government Code. 

The Code Of Conduct And Ethical Standards For Public Officials And Employees

Being a public official is both a privilege and a responsibility. More often than not, you become the subject for public scrutiny when you fail to meet expectations or perform your duty. Even in the past administrations, many public officials and employees have been criticized because of grave misconduct, displaying a lavish lifestyle, using power to intimidate others and more. Let Section 4 of Republic Act No. 6713 be a gentle reminder of how a public official or employee should behave. 

Section 4. Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees. - (A) Every public official and employee shall observe the following as standards of personal conduct in the discharge and execution of official duties:

(a) Commitment to public interest. - Public officials and employees shall always uphold the public interest over and above personal interest. All government resources and powers of their respective offices must be employed and used efficiently, effectively, honestly and economically, particularly to avoid wastage in public funds and revenues.

(b) Professionalism. - Public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill. They shall enter public service with utmost devotion and dedication to duty. They shall endeavor to discourage wrong perceptions of their roles as dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage.

(c) Justness and sincerity. - Public officials and employees shall remain true to the people at all times. They must act with justness and sincerity and shall not discriminate against anyone, especially the poor and the underprivileged. They shall at all times respect the rights of others, and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals, good customs, public policy, public order, public safety and public interest. They shall not dispense or extend undue favors on account of their office to their relatives whether by consanguinity or affinity except with respect to appointments of such relatives to positions considered strictly confidential or as members of their personal staff whose terms are coterminous with theirs.

(d) Political neutrality. - Public officials and employees shall provide service to everyone without unfair discrimination and regardless of party affiliation or preference.

(e) Responsiveness to the public. - Public officials and employees shall extend prompt, courteous, and adequate service to the public. Unless otherwise provided by law or when required by the public interest, public officials and employees shall provide information of their policies and procedures in clear and understandable language, ensure openness of information, public consultations and hearings whenever appropriate, encourage suggestions, simplify and systematize policy, rules and procedures, avoid red tape and develop an understanding and appreciation of the socio-economic conditions prevailing in the country, especially in the depressed rural and urban areas.

(f) Nationalism and patriotism. - Public officials and employees shall at all times be loyal to the Republic and to the Filipino people, promote the use of locally produced goods, resources and technology and encourage appreciation and pride of country and people. They shall endeavor to maintain and defend Philippine sovereignty against foreign intrusion.

(g) Commitment to democracy. - Public officials and employees shall commit themselves to the democratic way of life and values, maintain the principle of public accountability, and manifest by deeds the supremacy of civilian authority over the military. They shall at all times uphold the Constitution and put loyalty to country above loyalty to persons or party.

(h) Simple living. - Public officials and employees and their families shall lead modest lives appropriate to their positions and income. They shall not indulge in extravagant or ostentatious display of wealth in any form.

(B) The Civil Service Commission shall adopt positive measures to promote (1) observance of these standards including the dissemination of information programs and workshops authorizing merit increases beyond regular progression steps, to a limited number of employees recognized by their office colleagues to be outstanding in their observance of ethical standards; and (2) continuing research and experimentation on measures which provide positive motivation to public officials and employees in raising the general level of observance of these standards.

Steps To Claiming SSS Death Benefits

Death benefits refer to the cash benefit, which is paid as monthly pension or lump sum to the deceased member's primary beneficiaries. The primary beneficiaries can be the legitimate dependent spouse, dependent legitimate, legally adopted and illegitimate children of the SSS member who are not yet 21 years of age. In the event the primary beneficiaries cannot claim the benefit, the dependent parents will serve as the secondary beneficiaries. In the absence of secondary beneficiaries, any other individuals indicated in the member's records will be the beneficiary. 

A member who had paid 36 monthly contributions before their death will be granted monthly pension. The primary beneficiaries will be entitled to the monthly pension in the event of the member's death. 

The beneficiaries can also obtain a lump sum amount of the member who had paid less than 36 monthly contributions before their death. Even the secondary beneficiaries are also entitled to a lump sum benefit. 

How is retirement benefit computed? 

There are two types of retirement benefit:

monthly pension - a lifetime cash benefit paid to a retiree who has paid at least 120 monthly contributions to the SSS prior to the semester of retirement.

lumpsum amount - granted to a retiree who has not paid the required 120 monthly contributions. It is equal to the total contributions paid by the member and by the employer including interest.

Monthly Pension

Benefit Computation

The monthly pension depends on the member's paid contributions,  his credited years of service (CYS), and the number of his dependent minor children that must not exceed five. The monthly pension will be the highest amount resulting from either one of these three pension formulae:

the sum of P300 plus 20 percent of the average monthly salary credit plus two percent of the average monthly salary credit for each credited year of service (CYS) in excess of ten years; or

forty (40) percent of the average monthly salary credit; or

P1,200, if the CYS is at least 10 but less than 20; or P2,400, if the CYS is 20 or more.  

The monthly pension is paid for not less than 60 months. 

A member who retires after age 60 with a total of 120 monthly contributions may be qualified to a monthly pension based on whichever is higher of the following:

the monthly pension computed at the earliest time the member could have retired had been separated from employment or ceased to be self-employed plus all adjustments thereto; or

the monthly pension computed at the time when the member actually retires.

A pensioner who retires more than once shall be entitled to the higher of:

  • the monthly pension computed for the first retirement claim; or
  • the re-computed monthly pension for the new claim

Dependents Allowance 

The legitimate, legitimated or legally adopted, and illegitimate children, conceived on or before the date of retirement of a retiree will each receive dependents' allowance equivalent to 10 percent of the member's monthly pension, or P250, whichever is higher.

Only five minor children, beginning from the youngest, are entitled to the dependents' allowance. No substitution is allowed.

If there are more than five dependents, the legitimate, legitimated or legally adopted children shall be preferred.

The dependents' allowance stops when the child reaches 21 years old, gets married, gets employed, or dies. However, the dependents' allowance is granted for life for children who are over 21 years old, if they are incapacitated and incapable of self-support due to physical or mental defect that is congenital or acquired during minority.

Benefit Payment

The retiree-member has the option to receive the first 18 months' pension paid out in lumpsum, but discounted at a preferential rate of interest to be determined by the SSS. The member shall start receiving his pension on the 19th month, and every month thereafter. This option for advance payment shall be exercised only when filing the first retirement claim. It is only the advanced pension payments that are discounted on the date of payment; the dependent's allowance and 13th month pension are excluded from the advanced 18-month pension amount.

The monthly pension is paid thru the member's designated bank thru which he wishes to receive his pension benefits under the "Mag-Impok sa Bangko" program. This became mandatory effective September 1,1993.

Upon approval of the claim, the SSS will send the member a notice voucher indicating when to withdraw the benefit from the bank.

Other Benefits 

The retiree is entitled to a 13th month pension payable every December.

All retiree pensioners prior to the effectivity of RA 7875 on March 4, 1995 are automatically considered members of PhilHealth and, along with their legal dependents, are entitled to PhilHealth hospitalization benefits. On the other hand, retirees effective March 4,1995 up to the present will be entitled to PhilHealth hospitalization benefits only if they have contributed 120 monthly Philhealth/Medicare contributions. The counting of 120 monthly contributions shall start in 1972, when the Medical Care Act of 1969 started implementation.

A copy of the DDR print-out indicating the type of claim is retirement in nature and the effectivity date of the pension, or in its absence, a copy of retiree-pensioner certification issued by SSS shall be required. They need to register under Philhealth for the issuance of a Philhealth ID card for non-paying members. 


Upon the death of a retiree pensioner, the primary beneficiaries shall be entitled to 100 percent of the monthly pension, and the dependents to the dependents' allowance.

If the retiree pensioner dies within sixty (60) months from the start of the monthly pension and has no primary beneficiaries, the secondary beneficiaries shall be entitled to a lumpsum benefit equivalent to the total monthly pensions corresponding to the balance of the five-year guaranteed pension period, excluding the dependents' allowance. 

In case the retiree-member who is less than 65 years old resumes employment or self-employment, the monthly pension shall be suspended and the member shall again be subjected to compulsory coverage. 

If the retiree-member is 65 years old and older, he can resume employment or self-employment without prejudice to his monthly pension and without need for compulsory coverage.

Application requirements 

1. Death Claim Application (SSS Form DDR-1);

2. Affidavit of Death Benefit, if claimant is secondary beneficary (SSS Form CLD-1.3A)

3. Filer's Affidavit (Sinumpaang Sanaysay)

4. Other Affidavit, whichever is applicable

  • Joint Affidavit of Two Disinterested Persons, if claimant is legal heir or designated beneficiary (SSS Form CLD-1.3)
  • Application for Appointment as Representative Payeee, if claimant is guardian (SSS Form CLD-15)

5. Report of Death (SSS Form BPN-105), if death is work-related

6. Claimant's photo, signature form and valid IDs

7. If claimant is spouse of the deceased, marriage certificate and birth certificates of minor children (duly certified by LCR/NSO)

8. If single, the deceased member's birth certificate and marriage certificate of parents (duly certified by LCR/NSO)

9. Certified true copy of deceased member's death certificate

  • certified/issued by LCR/NSO, if member died in the Philippines
  • issued by vital statistics/census office or equivalent agency and certified by the Philippine Embassy/Consultat, if member died abroad

10. For pension - Single savings account passbook or ATM card with validated deposit slip or Cash Card Enrollment Form (photocopy and presentation of original for validation)

Note: Other documents may be required as they may be found necessary during the processing of the claim

B. Filing Procedure

Applications for death benefit are filed at any SSS branch or representative office. You can also watch our How-To video for a more detailed instruction.


Idulog: An Avenue For Filing A Complaint Against A Frontline Agency

Many people who have already gone to Philippine government agencies dread processing an official document because of the ordeal they have to undergo, all thanks to Red Tape. Despite the constant reminder of putting a lid on these bad practices, requests continue to fall on deaf ears. In the past, a person falling victim to sluggish processes was left with no other choice but to keep a stiff upper lip. Putting some teeth into the Anti Red-Tape Act of 2007 has begun to bear fruits. Aside from the implementation of Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 or R.A. No. 9485, Idulog is also another avenue for filing a complaint in the event you see any irregularities on processing an official document. As stated in Section 8 of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, frontline agencies should provide the following services. 

SEC. 8. Accessing Frontline Services. — The following shall be adopted by all government offices and agencies:

(a) Acceptance of Applications and Requests — (1) All officers or employees shall accept written applications; requests, and/or documents being submitted by clients of the office or agency.

(2) The responsible officer or employee shall acknowledge receipt of such application and/or request by writing or printing clearly thereon his/her name, the unit where he/she is connected with, and the time and date of receipt.

(3) The receiving officer or employee shall perform a preliminary assessment of the request so as to promote a more expeditious action on requests.

(b) Action of Offices — (1) All applications and/or requests submitted shall be acted upon by the assigned officer or employee during the period stated in the Citizen’s Charter which shall not be longer than five working days in the case of simple transactions and ten (10) working days in the case of complex transactions from the date the request or application was received. Depending on the nature of the frontline services requested or the mandate of the office or agency under unusual circumstances, the maximum time prescribed above may be extended. For the extension due to the nature of frontline services or the mandate of the office or agency concerned, the period for the delivery of frontline services shall be indicated in the Citizen’s Charter. The office or agency concerned shall notify the requesting party in writing of the reason for the extension and the final date of release for the extension and the final date of release of the frontline service/s requested.

(2) No application or request shall be returned to the client without appropriate action. In case an application or request is disapproved, the officer or employee who rendered the decision shall send a formal notice to the client within five working days from the receipt of the request and/or application, stating therein the reason for the disapproval including a list of specific requirements which the client failed to submit.

(c) Denial of Request for Access to Government Service — Any denial of request for access to government service shall be fully explained in writing, stating the name of the person making the denial and the grounds upon which such denial is based. Any denial of request is deemed to have been made with the permission or clearance from the highest authority having jurisdiction over the government office or agency concerned.

(d) Limitation of Signatories — The number of signatories in any document shall be limited to a maximum of five signatures which shall represent officers directly supervising the office or agency concerned.

(e) Adoption of Working Schedules to Serve Clients — Heads of offices and agencies which render frontline services shall adopt appropriate working schedules to ensure that all clients who are within their premises prior to the end of official working hours are attended to and served even during lunch break and after regular working hours.

(f) Identification Card — All employees transacting with the public shall be provided with an official identification card which should be visibly worn during office hours.

(g) Establishment of Public Assistance/Complaints Desk — Each office or agency shall establish a public assistance/complaints desk in all their offices.

If you feel that these agencies fell short of expectations, you can file a complaint at http://www.gov.ph/feedback/idulog or call 8888 to report the violation. Aside from complaints, the website also caters to suggestions, compliment, general inquiries and much more. You can even request for an official document or request a message from the President. The form for filing a complaint is also available on the website. 

How Do Self-Employed SSS Members Enjoy Their Retirement Benefits?

Can self-employed Social Security System (SSS) members enjoy the same retirement benefits as members employed by companies?

The good news is, the retirement benefits are not only granted to SSS members who are employed because it is also given to self-employed members. This is according to Republic Act No. 8282 or the Social Security Law of 1997 .

What does it take to be qualified for retirement benefits?

A self-employed will only be qualified for these retirement benefits if they have made a payment of at least one hundred twenty (120) monthly contributions prior to the semester of the member's retirement. The benefits will be enjoyed the moment you reach the age of sixty years and have already ceased being self-employed, or you have reached the age of sixty-five years.

You also have an option to receive your first eighteen monthly pensions in lump sum discounted at preferential rate of interest and this will be determined by the SSS. However if the self-employed member failed to pay the required contributions upon reaching sixty years of age, the lump sum that will be received will be based on the total contributions already paid.

In the event of self-employed member's death, primary beneficiaries will be entitled to receive a monthly pension if the member had already been receiving the retirement benefit. Your secondary beneficiaries will be the ones to receive the lump sum if you pass away within sixty months from the start of your monthly pension, provided you do not have primary beneficiaries.

Additional details about the benefits and contributions of self-employed members are stipulated in Republic Act. No. 8282:

"SEC. 9-A. Compulsory Coverage of the Self-Employed. - Coverage in the SSS shall also be compulsory upon such self-employed persons as may be determined by the Commission under such rules and regulations as it may prescribe, including but not limited to the following:

"1. All self-employed professionals;

"2. Partners and single proprietors of businesses;

"3. Actors and actresses, directors, scriptwriters and news correspondents who do not fall within the definition of the term "employee" in Section 8 (d) of this Act;

"4. Professional athletes, coaches, trainers and jockeys; and

"5. Individual farmers and fishermen.

"Unless otherwise specified herein, all provisions of this Act applicable to covered employees shall also be applicable to the covered self-employed persons.

"SEC. 10. Effective Date of Coverage. - Compulsory coverage of the employer shall take effect on the first day of his operation and that of the employee on the day of his employment: Provided, That the compulsory coverage of the self-employed person shall take effect upon his registration with the SSS.

"SEC. 11. Effect of Separation from Employment. - When an employee under compulsory coverage is separated from employment, his employer's contribution on his account and his obligation to pay contributions arising from that employment shall cease at the end of the month of separation, but said employee shall be credited with all contributions paid on his behalf and entitled to benefits according to the provisions of this Act. He may, however, continue to pay the total contributions to maintain his right to full benefit.

"SEC. 11-A. Effect of Interruption of Business or Professional Income. - If the self-employed realizes no income in any given month, he shall not be required to pay contributions for that month. He may, however, be allowed to continue paying contributions under the same rules and regulations applicable to a separated employee member: Provided, That no retroactive payment of contributions shall be allowed other than as prescribed under Section Twenty-two-A hereof.

"SEC. 12. Monthly Pension. - (a) The monthly pension shall be the highest of the following amounts:

"(1) The sum of the following:

"(i) Three hundred pesos (P300.00; plus

"(ii) Twenty percent (20%) of the average monthly salary credit; plus

"(iii) Two percent (2%) of the average monthly salary credit for each credited year of service in excess of ten (10) years; or

"(2) Forth percent (40%) of the average monthly salary credit; or

"(3) One thousand pesos (P1,000.00): Provided, That the monthly pension shall in no case be paid for an aggregate amount of less than sixty (60) months.

"(b) Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, the minimum pension shall be One thousand two hundred pesos (P1,200.00) for members with at least ten (10) credited years of service and Two thousand four hundred pesos (P2,400.00) for those with twenty (20) credited years of service.

"SEC. 12-A. Dependents' Pension. - Where monthly pension is payable on account of death, permanent total disability or retirement, dependents' pension equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the monthly pension or Two hundred fifty pesos (P250.00), whichever is higher, shall also be paid for each dependent child conceived on or before the date of the contingency but not exceeding five (5), beginning with the youngest and without substitution: Provided, That where there are legitimate or illegitimate children, the former shall be preferred.

SEC. 12-B. Retirement Benefits. - (a) A member who has paid at least one hundred twenty (120) monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement and who: (1) has reached the age of sixty (60) years and is already separated from employment or has ceased to be self-employed; or (2) has reached the age of sixty-five (65) years, shall be entitled for as long as he lives to the monthly pension: Provided, That he shall have the option to receive his first eighteen (18) monthly pensions in lump sum discounted at a preferential rate of interest to be determined by the SSS.

"(b) A covered member who is sixty (60) years old at retirement and who does not qualify for pension benefits under paragraph (a) above, shall be entitled to a lump sum benefit equal to the total contributions paid by him and on his behalf: Provided, That he is separated from employment and is not continuing payment of contributions to the SSS on his own.

"(c) The monthly pension shall be suspended upon the reemployment or resumption of self-employment of a retired member who is less than sixty-five (65) years old. He shall again be subject to Section Eighteen and his employer to Section Nineteen of this Act.

"(d) Upon the death of the retired member, his primary beneficiaries as of the date of his retirement shall be entitled to receive the monthly pension: Provided, That if he has no primary beneficiaries and he dies within sixty (60) months from the start of his monthly pension, his secondary beneficiaries shall be entitled to a lump sum benefit equivalent to the total monthly pensions corresponding to the balance of the five-year guaranteed period, excluding the dependents' pension.

"(e) The monthly pension of a member who retires after reaching age sixty (60) shall be the higher of either: (1) the monthly pension computed at the earliest time he could have retired had he been separated from employment or ceased to be self-employed plus all adjustments thereto; or (2) the monthly pension computed at the time when he actually retires.

The New Law In Correcting Typographical Or Clerical Errors In The Civil Registry

When it comes to correcting clerical or typographical errors in an entry in the Civil Registry, you have to go through long procedures that will even make a dent in your pocket. This problem with costly and tedious procedures have already been addressed by Republic Act. No. 9048. This act authored by Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo is known as Clerical Error Law. This legislation allows you to correct typographical errors without court intervention. The law removes the burden of the old procedure in correcting clerical errors such as wrong spelling from marriage, birth and even death certificates.

Republic Act No. 9048

No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.

Any person having direct and personal interest in the correction of a clerical or typographical error in an entry and/or change of first name or nickname in the civil register may file, in person, a verified petition with the local civil registry office of the city or municipality where the record being sought to be corrected or changed is kept.

(1) The petitioner finds the first name or nickname to be ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce.

(2) The new first name or nickname has been habitually and continuously used by the petitioner and he has been publicly known by that by that first name or nickname in the community: or

(3) The change will avoid confusion.

The petition shall be supported with the following documents:

(1) A certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry or entries sought to be corrected or changed.

(2) At least two (2) public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries upon which the correction or change shall be based; and

(3) Other documents which the petitioner or the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general may consider relevant and necessary for the approval of the petition.

Rights And Practices Every Consumer Must Remember

As a consumer you have the right to: safety, basic needs, information, representation, redress, consumer education, choose and healthy environment. Making informed buying decisions will ensure that you are getting the right products and services. If you want to make an online purchase, the first thing you need to check is the DTI sales promotion permit of the online store. It is not enough that you read reviews or feedback from previous buyers because you also need protection against online scams. While you may not have the luxury of time to check the items you are purchasing, it still pays to get some essential information such as the product’s expiry date, brand name, name and address of the manufacturer and English or Filipino translation if the labels are written in other languages. Perhaps you are already familiar with the ‘No Return, No Exchange’ policy and if ever you bought a defective product, you should insist on replacing or refunding the item.

Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines provides detailed information about consumer rights and practices.

“ARTICLE 5. Declaration of Policy. — It shall be the duty of the State:

a) to develop and provide safety and quality standards for consumer products, including performance or use-oriented standards, codes of practice and methods of tests;
b) to assist the consumer in evaluating the quality, including safety, performance and comparative utility of consumer products;
c) to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products;
d)to undertake research on quality improvement of products and investigation into causes and prevention of product related deaths, illness and injuries;
e) to assure the public of the consistency of standardized products.
ARTICLE 6.  Implementing Agencies. — The provisions of this Article and its implementing rules and regulations shall be enforced by:
a)   the Department of Health with respect to food, drugs, cosmetics, devices and substances;
b)   the Department of Agriculture with respect to products related to agriculture, and;
c)   the Department of Trade and Industry with respect to other consumer products not specified above.

ARTICLE 7.   Promulgation and Adoption of Consumer Product Standards. — The concerned department shall establish consumer product quality and safety standards which shall consist of one or more of the following:

a)    requirements as to performance, composition, contents, design, construction, finish, packaging of a consumer product;
b)    requirements as to kind, class, grade, dimensions, weights, material;
c)  requirements as to the methods of sampling, tests and codes used to check the quality of the product;
d)  requirements as to precautions in storage, transporting and packaging;
e)  requirements that a consumer product be marked with or accompanied by clear and adequate safety warnings or instructions, or requirements respecting the form of warnings or instructions.

For this purpose, the concerned department shall adopt existing government domestic product quality and safety standards: Provided, That in the absence of such standards, the concerned department shall form specialized technical committees composed of equal number of representatives from each of the Government, business and consumer sectors to formulate, develop and purpose consumer product quality and safety standards. The said technical committees shall consult with the private sector, which may, motu proprio, develop its own quality and safety standards that shall be subject to review and approval of the concerned government agency or agencies after public hearings have been conducted for that purpose; and shall likewise consider existing international standards recognized by the Philippine Government.

ARTICLE 8.   Publication of Consumer Product Standards. — The concerned department shall, upon promulgation of the above standards, publish or cause the publication of the same in two (2) newspapers of general circulation at least once a week for a period of not less than one (1) month. It may likewise conduct an information campaign through other means deemed effective to ensure the proper guidance of consumers, businesses, industries and other sectors concerned.”

The Use Of Leaked Poll Data: A Violation Of Data Privacy Act

It has been recently reported that the voter’s data had been stolen by hackers from the Comelec’s database.  There unlawful use of stolen data is considered a violation of Data Privacy Act according to the acting Justice Secretary Emmanual Caparas. The Comelec is the rightful owner of the stolen information and the unauthorized individuals who use the information will face the consequences for the violation. Although the   leaked poll data is a serious issue, Caparas assured that it should not be a cause for alarm as the integrity of May 9 election will not be compromised. The Department of Justice together with the foreign agencies are also doing their best to hunt down the person/s responsible for hacking the Comelec’s database system.


“SEC. 20. Security of Personal Information. – (a) The personal information controller must implement reasonable and appropriate organizational, physical and technical measures intended for the protection of personal information against any accidental or unlawful destruction, alteration and disclosure, as well as against any other unlawful processing.

(b) The personal information controller shall implement reasonable and appropriate measures to protect personal information against natural dangers such as accidental loss or destruction, and human dangers such as unlawful access, fraudulent misuse, unlawful destruction, alteration and contamination.

(c) The determination of the appropriate level of security under this section must take into account the nature of the personal information to be protected, the risks represented by the processing, the size of the organization and complexity of its operations, current data privacy best practices and the cost of security implementation. Subject to guidelines as the Commission may issue from time to time, the measures implemented must include:

(1) Safeguards to protect its computer network against accidental, unlawful or unauthorized usage or interference with or hindering of their functioning or availability;

(2) A security policy with respect to the processing of personal information;

(3) A process for identifying and accessing reasonably foreseeable vulnerabilities in its computer networks, and for taking preventive, corrective and mitigating action against security incidents that can lead to a security breach; and

(4) Regular monitoring for security breaches and a process for taking preventive, corrective and mitigating action against security incidents that can lead to a security breach.

(d) The personal information controller must further ensure that third parties processing personal information on its behalf shall implement the security measures required by this provision.

(e) The employees, agents or representatives of a personal information controller who are involved in the processing of personal information shall operate and hold personal information under strict confidentiality if the personal information are not intended for public disclosure. This obligation shall continue even after leaving the public service, transfer to another position or upon termination of employment or contractual relations.

(f) The personal information controller shall promptly notify the Commission and affected data subjects when sensitive personal information or other information that may, under the circumstances, be used to enable identity fraud are reasonably believed to have been acquired by an unauthorized person, and the personal information controller or the Commission believes (bat such unauthorized acquisition is likely to give rise to a real risk of serious harm to any affected data subject. The notification shall at least describe the nature of the breach, the sensitive personal information possibly involved, and the measures taken by the entity to address the breach. Notification may be delayed only to the extent necessary to determine the scope of the breach, to prevent further disclosures, or to restore reasonable integrity to the information and communications system.

(1) In evaluating if notification is unwarranted, the Commission may take into account compliance by the personal information controller with this section and existence of good faith in the acquisition of personal information.

(2) The Commission may exempt a personal information controller from notification where, in its reasonable judgment, such notification would not be in the public interest or in the interests of the affected data subjects.

(3) The Commission may authorize postponement of notification where it may hinder the progress of a criminal investigation related to a serious breach.”

DILG Orders Probe On Kidapawan Incident

The devastating effects of El Niño have plagued everyone in the country. While we may whine about the scorching heat that makes us want to stay cooped up in our home, the farmers have bigger issues to face. These issues have urged 6000 Kidapawan farmers to take to the streets to protest due to the alleged failure of government to provide relief to starving families of farmers. These are not just shallow complaints about drought because the farmers’ livelihood has already been affected. When there is no food on your plate, you need to do something to provide food for your family who is already starving to death.

The problem started when the police opened fire on the protesters and when investigation was conducted, police said that one of the dead protesters came out positive for powder burns. The Kidapawan incident will bring forth fact-finding team and the National Police Commission will also conduct its own investigation. The PNP fact finding team will be headed by Police Director Isagani Nerez.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has also noticed some lapses on the dispersal of protesters and they are also going to conduct their own investigation to find out if there is indeed a violation committed during the incident. The investigation will not only look at the rights of protesters but the police as well.  Inspite of the bloody incident, the government has not yet lifted a finger to give in to the farmers’ demands. Whether it is political ideologies or purely a case of following standard operating procedure, the farmers just need food to eat. With the ongoing investigation, will the Kidapawan incident prove that this is a clear violation of human rights?

“Section 2. Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial Investigation; Duties of Public Officers.

(a) Any person arrested detained or under custodial investigation shall at all times be assisted by counsel.

(b) Any public officer or employee, or anyone acting under his order or his place, who arrests, detains or investigates any person for the commission of an offense shall inform the latter, in a language known to and understood by him, of his rights to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice, who shall at all times be allowed to confer privately with the person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation. If such person cannot afford the services of his own counsel, he must be provided with a competent and independent counsel by the investigating officer.

(c) The custodial investigation report shall be reduced to writing by the investigating officer, provided that before such report is signed, or thumbmarked if the person arrested or detained does not know how to read and write, it shall be read and adequately explained to him by his counsel or by the assisting counsel provided by the investigating officer in the language or dialect known to such arrested or detained person, otherwise, such investigation report shall be null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

(d) Any extrajudicial confession made by a person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel or in the latter's absence, upon a valid waiver, and in the presence of any of the parents, elder brothers and sisters, his spouse, the municipal mayor, the municipal judge, district school supervisor, or priest or minister of the gospel as chosen by him; otherwise, such extrajudicial confession shall be inadmissible as evidence in any proceeding.

(e) Any waiver by a person arrested or detained under the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, or under custodial investigation, shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel; otherwise the waiver shall be null and void and of no effect.

(f) Any person arrested or detained or under custodial investigation shall be allowed visits by or conferences with any member of his immediate family, or any medical doctor or priest or religious minister chosen by him or by any member of his immediate family or by his counsel, or by any national non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Commission on Human Rights of by any international non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Office of the President. The person's "immediate family" shall include his or her spouse, fiancé or fiancée, parent or child, brother or sister, grandparent or grandchild, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, and guardian or ward.

As used in this Act, "custodial investigation" shall include the practice of issuing an "invitation" to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the liability of the "inviting" officer for any violation of law.”

Free Yourself From The Shackles Of Credit Card Debt

Some people often say that credit cards are only intended for responsible adults who can handle finances properly. Without a doubt, credit cards offer convenience as you do not have to bring cash to pay for your purchases. However, this plastic money can show its sharp fangs and talons to those who are unable to make timely payments. Yes, it is a harmless card that provides you the privilege to make cashless payment, but you can be a slave to debt if you are not a responsible credit card holder. Some may think that the state of being indebted is a humiliating experience, but the truth is, it is a humbling experience as it teaches you one valuable lesson that can make you a better person if and only if you learn from it.

Credit card holders who are being harassed by collectors are a scenario that does not happen once in a super blue moon. There are lots of horror stories involving a credit card holder and a collection agency and if you do not know your rights as a cardholder, the experience can be debilitating. If you have received incessant calls demanding of a payment for your overdue credit card bills, take a deep breath and heave a sigh of relief as it is not the end of the world.

You do not have to make yourself suffer just because of a credit card debt. You can still become debt-free provided, you take full responsibility for mishandling your credit card finances. Some collectors may contact the credit card holder in the wee hours of the morning or late at night just to make the person pay the past due amount. Unless the cardholder has given permission to contact them during these times, calling the cardholder at inconvenient times is prohibited. This violation is under BSP Circular No. 702, Series of 2010.

Under Section 3 and 4 of the circular, the credit companies should do the following:

“1. notify the card holder in writing of the endorsement of the collection to an agency at least seven days before the actual endorsement;

2. give the defaulting credit card holder the name of the agent assigned to the account once they have endorsed the collection to a third-party;

3. change all disclosure documents and marketing materials so that they are printed in plain language and in bold black letters against a white background using the Arial font and a minimum 12 point font size. “

The consumer protection also indicates that a cardholder should also have the option to take advantage of various payment options. If the cardholder cannot pay the debt in full, other repayment plans should be available to them.

Credit card companies who fail to observe the procedures will receive the following sanctions:

“ First offense: Reprimand for the directors/officers responsible for the violation.

Second offense: Disqualification of the bank concerned from the credit facilities of the BSP except as may be allowed under Section 84 of R.A. No. 7653 (“New Central Bank Act”).

Subsequent offenses:

Prohibition on the bank concerned from the extension of additional credit accommodation against personal security; and
Penalties and sanctions under Sections 36 and 37 of RA 7653”

Beware Of Fake Police Clearances

Before you earn yourself a spot in a company, there are pre-employment requirements that you need to comply as part of the hiring process. One of which is securing a police clearance certificate. This document is also one of the essential requirements in applying for passport and other government IDs. The purpose of police clearance is to prove that the person does not have any criminal record in the police department. It can also be used as a replacement for NBI clearance, if it is not yet available. Applying for a police clearance certificate is pretty straightforward because all you have to do is to go to the nearest Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters and fill out the form.

Police clearance certificates are much easier to secure than NBI Clearance, where you have to wait long hours to secure a certificate. Before you can secure a police clearance, you need to fill out an application form, which is available at the PNP headquarters. You will also need to secure a Barangay clearance, recent cedula or community tax certificate and P100 as payment for the certificate. You will need to bring the original and photocopy of these documents. The PNP office will also capture your photo so you do not have to bring one. Your purpose of getting a Police Clearance must also be stated.

It is important that everyone is aware of the correct process of getting a police clearance to keep scammers at bay. Distributors of fake police clearances were recently busted due to issuing fake clearance certificates. When the fake police clearance was checked, it looked like the genuine copy of the certificate. It even bore the signature of Police Chief Inspector Rogelio De Lumen, who is the chief of QCPD’s Warrant and Subpoena Section, and Police Chief Supt. Edgardo G. Tinio, QCPD director.

These fake police clearances are sold at P300, which is unusually higher than the actual cost of getting a clearance certificate from the PNP office. The said arrest took place when one applicant complained about the overpricing of the said document. Public documents can be easily copied as the distributors have the necessary tools and access for reproducing them. For an unsuspecting victim, these police clearances sure appear to be genuine. The public is advised to be keen on checking the document’s authenticity. Fixers often offer to process your documents, assuring you of a shorter processing time for a much higher price. The inconvenience can be avoided once you know where police clearances must be secured.

P2000 Pension Hike Rejected: Where Do We Go From Here?

Following the President’s veto of the bill, which proposed a P2000 hike, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. seeks approval for a P1000 increase for the Social Security System (SSS) pensioners. This proposal can be carried out following the executive action. The passage of the bill will also accompany the proposal using the same powers vested in SSS and GSIS board. The bill that Belmonte was referring to, has already been approved on third and final reading, and just awaiting approval at the Senate.

The amendments of Republic Act No. 1162 or the Social Security Law is outlined in Sec. 12-B of the Presidential Decree No. 1636.

“Sec. 12-B.    Retirement benefits. —

(a) A covered employee who had paid at least one hundred twenty monthly contributions prior to the semester of retirement; and who (1) has reached the age of sixty years and is not receiving monthly compensation of at least three hundred pesos, or (2) has reached the age of sixty-five years, shall be entitled for as long as he lives to the monthly pension: Provided, That his dependents born before his retirement of a marriage subsisting when he was fifty-seven years old shall be entitled to the dependents' pension.

(b)    A covered member who is sixty years old at retirement and who does not qualify for pension benefits under paragraph (a) above, shall be entitled to a lump sum benefit equal to the total contributions paid by him and on his behalf; Provided, That he is separated from employment and is not continuing payment of contributions to the SSS on his own.

(c)    The monthly pension shall be reduced upon the re-employment of a retired employee who is less than sixty-five years old by an amount equivalent to one-half his earnings over three hundred pesos. He shall again be subject to section eighteen and his employer to section nineteen of this Act.

(d)    Upon the death of the retired employee pensioner, his primary beneficiaries shall be entitled to eighty percent of the monthly pension and his dependents to the dependent' pension: Provided, That if he has no primary beneficiaries and he dies within sixty months from the start of his monthly pension, his secondary beneficiaries shall be entitled to a lump sum benefit equivalent to the smaller of (1) twenty times the monthly pension or (2) the difference of sixty times the monthly pension and the total monthly pensions paid by the SSS excluding the dependents' pension."

Taxikick: A Convenient Way Of Lodging A Complaint Against Abusive Taxi Drivers

When the temporary restraining order (TRO) was served to Uber and GrabCar for new applications, the commuting public was left with a few transportation options. While this is the season for giving and sharing, there are corrupt and abusive taxi drivers who choose to seize the opportunity and commuters who only want to reach their destination in the most convenient way are not spared from falling prey to these taxi drivers’ schemes.
These taxi drivers collect fares in excess of the actual amount charged to the passengers. They have lots of lame excuses to deter passengers from getting the exact change. While it is the passenger’s prerogative to give a tip, a taxi driver cannot just prey on these unsuspecting passengers to collect more than the amount due to them.

In response to the perennial complaints from passengers against these unconscionable practices, TaxiKick has been created. The site accepts complaints from passengers who have been scammed by taxi drivers. Once complaints are lodged, the site will forward them to the LTFRB, which takes action on each complaint. The LTFRB will contact complainants to get more information.

The passengers also have the option to follow up on any report they file by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text/call the LTFRB at 459-2129 or 0921-448-7777.

Proposed acts HB 4016, 2346, 2669, 5107 and 3503 are intended to address growing concerns on taxi drivers’ abusive treatment to passengers.

Here is an overview of one of the house bills being pushed:

“Jurisprudence reveals that a contract of transport of passengers is quite different from any other contractual relationship since it is imbued with public interest. Moreover, it is a policy of the State to protect the interest of passengers, promote their general welfare and establish the strictest standards of conduct for the transportation industry.

Several laws and ordinances have been enacted to safeguard the safety of the commuting public. Traffic enforcers have been deployed in strategic locations to ensure the efficient flow of various forms of public transportation and more importantly, the safety of our commuters.

In relation to this, it is the right of every person to choose whatever means of public transportation he/she prefers. Most of our commuters would choose to take the bus, jeepney, tricycle but for convenience sake, they have also opted to take our railway system (LRT and MRT) to avoid the horrendous traffic in most of our major thoroughfares. Still some for the sake of expediency, have chosen to take the taxi because it saves on time and gets them to their place of disembarkation much faster.

However, passengers are most often than not victims of abusive taxi drivers. Rampant abusive practices by these taxi drivers include the collection of fare in excess of what is due to them. In the event a passenger asks for his/her exact change, the common answer is that they do not have enough coins or this was their first trip.”

The Alarming Truth On Bullet Planting Scheme In NAIA

The alarming increase of bullet planting scam cases is indeed an unsettling news knowing the fact that anyone can be caught carrying bullets in their bags. A plethora of speculations have been heard but the truth remains in the dark. It is just another blame game that almost everyone can play at. While authorities are investigating on this matter, people just cannot help putting the blame on anyone who has access to their luggage. Anyone can be a suspect: the guards, taxi drivers, airport security personnel and porters. 

While the case remains unsolved, the livelihood of those who are working in and around the airport is also at risk. Passengers are also creating their own safety measures to avoid falling prey to the bullet planting scheme. Without a doubt, the luggage wrapping services at NAIA are becoming a lucrative business considering the fact that many passengers have become more vigilant.

Passengers who are caught carrying live bullets or ammunition in their bags violate Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, which states that “It is the policy of the State to maintain peace and order and protect the people against violence. The State also recognizes the right of its qualified citizens to self-defense through, when it is the reasonable means to repel the unlawful aggression under the circumstances, the use of firearms. Towards this end, the State shall provide for a comprehensive law regulating the ownership, possession, carrying, manufacture, dealing in and importation of firearms, ammunition, or parts thereof, in order to provide legal support to law enforcement agencies in their campaign against crime, stop the proliferation of illegal firearms or weapons and the illegal manufacture of firearms or weapons, ammunition and parts thereof.”

The bullet planting cases in 2015 has a total of 1394 and still counting. While there are some passengers who admit to carrying live bullets in their bags due to superstition, others are completely clueless how the bullets got in their bags.  There are lingering questions that remain unanswered and this issue will continue to be a guessing game for everyone unless the people who are responsible for this bullet planting scheme is incarcerated. 

There are political figures who have already offered legal aid to the victims. If abuse of power and extortion are the reasons for the prevalence of bullet planting, the passengers must also consider safety measures for their protection. 

In the event an official claims to find a bullet in a passenger's bag, the passenger has the right to delay immediate opening of the bag, summon presence of the official’s supervisor and obtain lawyer’s presence or third party witnesses.  Keep in mind that no officer can force you to be a witness against yourself. If you are coerced into admitting ownership of the planted bullet, you have the right to remain silent. Any admission without the presence of a lawyer is considered inadmissible in court. If you are required to pay in exchange of your freedom, simply refer to Section 9 of the Republic Act No. 3019 or Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“Penalties for violations. (a) Any public officer or private person committing any of the unlawful acts or omissions enumerated in Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, perpetual disqualification from public office, and confiscation or forfeiture in favor of the Government of any prohibited interest and unexplained wealth manifestly out of proportion to his salary and other lawful income.”