Roundtable Discussions on ways and means for the economic development of the nation
- U Maung Maung Aye , Director-General of SWB
By Khin Yadanar
Photo May Oo Moe
MRTV aired a live program on talks under the theme “On the Reform Program in connection with social security benefits”, in which U Maung Maung Aye, Director-General of the Social Security Board; Daw Than Than Nu, Director of the SWB; U Win Naing, Representative of the Employers; Daw Phyo Sandar Soe, Representative of the Workers; and ILO National Project Coordinator Dr. Thein Than Htay have participated in the discussions.
Moderator: Kindly explain the functioning, implementation and current status of social security projects in Myanmar.
Director-General: Social security programs are implementing in various ways and means around (160) countries across the globe. In Myanmar, the social security projects have started since (60) years ago, and that we consider the social security tasks as human rights. Aims, objectives and goals are being adopted at the UNGA held in 2015.
In the objective 1.3, all the participating nations have agreed and adopted to reduce extreme poverty and prevention at the national level, and to place the social protection floors in appropriate ways and means. Our country is also implementing the adopted agenda. From this roundtable discussion, it is my pleasure to talk about the ongoing social security system and benefits and other welfare programs.
In 1947, headed by Bogyoke Aung San, the Rehabilitation Conference was held at the Sorrento Villa on Pyay Road in Yangon. The conference was aimed at providing social safety, health and benefits of the workers in conjunction with the provision of social security. It was the start of the social security project.
After Independence, Myanmar became a member of ILO. At that time, we did not enacted any social security act, and that the ILO had provided assistance in drafting the law. The Social Security Act was being drafted in 1952 and enacted in 1954, which came into force on 1 January 1956.
The 1954 Social Security Act has provided two social security systems and seven security benefits. After (54) years of implementation and application, the time has come to make certain reform and amendments, and thus on 31 August 2012, the new Social Security Law (2012) is adopted at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw as law number 15/2012.
It came into force on 1 April 2014 with six security systems, and currently it is functioning with three security systems. The ILO is providing suggestions and advice, and that we are complying accordingly. In line with the current security system, fifteen types of benefits are being Provided to workers.
Coordinator: Please explain the Social Security System and Benefits.
Director: The 2012 Social Security Law is enacted to cover the whole nationals. There are five objectives such as that of uplifting the health of the workers the main productive force of the nation; that of fulfilling social security requirement of the workers; that of the cooperation between the employers and the workers; that of the fulfillment of health necessity. These are the first requirement.
The second requirement is to pay attention to the depending family members in registering with their own consent for the benefits, covering the farmers and other fellow citizens.
The third advantage is to provide benefits to the workers along with the family members that are in accordance with the modern times.
The fourth benefit is to be implemented with the aim and objective in providing security to those people with disability, superannuation retirement, old age pensioner, jobless people, housing projects, with the funds to be reimbursed to them from their own contributions.
The last benefits in the list are to provide funds under social security projects when the workers are sick, taking maternity leave and child birth, demise, sustained injury during working hour, and getting medical treatment with aging. Another factor is about offering accommodation and housing ownership through the large projects.
Moderator: Kindly explain the arrangement health care services to the social security employees.
Director: Under the Social Security Law, the current security system has six categories. Health security category and social security category under implementation, however, the family welfare security category has been temporarily set-aside at the moment.
Another benefit on the obligation is to provide health care to the depending family members that need to compile and collect data and information. Injury sustained at the worksite is entitled to receive security benefit.
In the funding of the social security system, the employer has the responsibility to contribute two per cent, while the employee has to pay two per cent for the health security and social security. Regarding the injury compensation fund, the employee is not required to contribute fund, but the employer has to contribute one per cent for the injury fund. Therefore, each and every employee has to contribute five per cent of the salary towards the social security funds.
There are many benefits and entitlements available just after the first registration. During one month registration, medical treatment is entitled for (26) weeks for ordinary case; and (52) weeks if necessary and required. Treatment for dialysis of kidney is offered to employees in addition to patients with chronic diseases.
In the case of the death reimbursement of an employee during a certain period who have not paid yet on his or her due share out of the salary in (10) days registration period, the unexpected demise compensation is honored on humanitarian grounds.
The employee who sustained injury at the worksite is provided with (70) per cent of the salary for one year period on temporary disability interlude, and that total and permanent physical disability is also considered compensation of (70) per cent of the salary. The lump sum compensation is calculated from (30) times to (80) times depending on the nature of case.
These are the stipulations intended for the employees who failed to make payment on their schedule proportion during the registration period.
During the registration period of six months, the employee is honored with six months sick benefits despite his or her payment were made only for four months with the amount of (60) per cent calculated on the salary.
When the registration period of the employee has attained for (12) months, the maternity leave is entitled. It is granted six weeks before birth, and (8) weeks after birth, with a total of (14) weeks. The entitlement is (50) per cent of salary for single birth; (75) per cent of salary for twin birth; and (100) per cent of salary for triple birth. These monetary benefits are provided by the social security office to the employee after birth, and the health care is being taken care by the hospital.
For the miscarriage case, six weeks leave is granted with (70) per cent of salary. When adoption is made for less than one year baby, eight weeks leave is granted with (70) per cent of salary. The infant is allowed to take health care for one year.
Male employee is also entitled certain benefits under this law. Despite the wife is not social security member, if the husband is social security member, he is entitled (15) days infant care leave with (70) per cent of the salary.
When the female social security member is entitled (50) per cent for one baby, the male is entitled (25) per cent. More entitlement is granted for twin birth. These entitlements are granted beginning 1 April 2014.
Coordinator: Are the employees required to explore the social security benefits? Whether the employer or the social security office is sharing automatically live be care about the benefits.
Director: Currently, we are carrying out awareness raising program. We are making educational and awareness talks to the employees. We explained the workers how to draw benefits and that the responsible persons at the offices visited the worksites and provide talks. We also provide through the media. We disseminate through the pamphlets, handouts and calendars.
Those who retired in the gap between the old and new social security laws, they have not contributed their share; however, they are honored with health care. This is extraordinary in our country because such entitlement is not seen in the social security plans of many countries.
They are allowed to take medical treatment for seven times in one month at the clinics. Moreover, after certain period (50) per cent of the medical bill is being provided by the social security board.
Coordinator: Kindly explain the social security system, the benefits, the cost of medicines, and the travelling allowances.
Director: A total of (15) types of benefits are provided through the percentage explained earlier. The Social Security Law is under implementation for four and half years. There are over (600,000) cases among the (15) sorts of benefit cases involving K (26,000) million provided to the social security employees.
Regarding the sustained injury, there are (325) cases covering K (1600) million being approved for the workers.
In the primary health care, medical treatment is allowed at the clinic. The employees can take treatment at the large clinic signed with the social security board. The treatment could be received at the outpatient departments. Physicians, specialists and medical officers of township level are cooperating for providing health care awareness talks. The social security talks are provided in addition to medical treatment, which amounted to K (760,000) million during one year period. Medical expense and refund of travelling allowance are allowed up to K (4,600) million.
Director-General: We have three owned hospital to provide medical treatment. They are Yangon Workers Hospital; Mandalay Hospital and Htantabin Hospital in conjunction with (96) own clinics and (55) larger departmental clinics. We have signed contract with four outside clinics. One traditional medical clinic has been established in Yangon. We have three diagnosis-related facilities with PPS system. The MMU is meant for the employees who are working far from the medical facilities, and therefore, Mobile Medical Unit ((MMU) service is providing for them.
(To be continued)
Translated by UMT (Ahlone)