Wednesday, February 14, 2018

7 Benefits You Can Enjoy as a Voluntary SSS Member

Filipino employees working in the private sector are lucky to have the Social Security System (SSS), a state-run insurance program that gives them health and retirement benefits. It can also tide them through tough times with its short-term credit loans.

But even if you’re not employed, you can still take advantage of SSS’ many benefits by applying as a voluntary member.

7 Benefits You Can Enjoy as a Voluntary SSS Member

Who can become a voluntary SSS member?

Any Filipino can become a voluntary SSS member – whether you’re working for the government, the informal sector, or as an OFW. 

Because of the Kasambahay Law, employers of household service workers are also required to pay for their house help’s SSS contributions.

Even self-employed and unemployed people and non-working spouses can become SSS members as long as they’re able to pay their monthly dues. And once you become an SSS member, you’re a member for life.

What are the benefits of being a voluntary SSS member?

1. Salary Loan

The SSS salary loan is a cash loan granted to any SSS member – including voluntary ones – to help them meet their short-term credit needs. It has an interest rate of 10% per annum, and the length of loan payment depends on how many contributions you’ve made. 

To qualify for a salary loan, you should have posted at least six monthly contributions in the last 12 months before filing your loan application. You also shouldn’t have any existing loans with the SSS. Being a voluntary SSS member sure has lots of perks, but you have to make sure that you comply with your monthly contributions to take advantage of them.

2. Funeral Benefit

If you paid the burial expenses of a deceased SSS member, you could apply to receive funeral benefits from the SSS. The only requirement is to have at least one monthly contribution as a voluntary, self-employed, or OFW member.

3. Death Benefit

You get a monthly death pension if you’re the primary beneficiary (spouse and dependent children) of a deceased SSS member who had at least 36 monthly contributions. If the contributions are lower than that, you get a lump sum. If there are no primary beneficiaries, the secondary beneficiaries or dependent parents receive the lump sum.

4. Retirement Benefit

Also given either as a monthly pension or lump sum amount, the retirement benefit is given to SSS members who can no longer work due to old age. Those who are no longer working at 60 years old and contributed at least 120 monthly contributions before the semester of retirement can apply for a retirement benefit. It is automatically given to those who reach mandatory retirement at 65 years old, regardless of employment status.

5. Disability Benefit

SSS members who became either partially or totally disabled may apply for the disability benefit. It can be given either as a monthly pension or a lump sum amount, depending on your monthly contributions. If you paid at least 36 monthly contributions, you qualify for a monthly disability pension. If not, you are granted a lump sum amount.

6. Maternity Benefit

Female SSS members who recently gave birth or had a miscarriage can avail of maternity benefits in the form of daily cash allowances. Again, you should have at least three months’ worth of SSS contributions within the last 12 months to receive this benefit.

7. Sickness Benefit

If you suddenly got sick or injured, you can get a daily cash allowance for the number of days you’re unable to work. To avail of sickness benefits, you should be confined at home or in a hospital for at least four days and have at least three months’ worth of contributions within the last 12 months.

How to Pay SSS Contributions as a Voluntary Member

You can pay for your contributions through payment centers nationwide, as well as online. With the app, you can actually pay your SSS contributions straight from your mobile phone!

All you need to do is tap the Pay Bills icon on the app, and tap SSS Contributions. Select Voluntary Member, fill in the amount, and your SSS number. Then slide to pay.

This way, you’ll never have to miss on SSS benefits – and you save a lot of time paying your contributions online.

Source: reblog.
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Monday, February 12, 2018

5 Things You Should Know About Virtual Credit Cards

The merchant has your billing address as well as your card number, expiration date, and security code. That's everything an unscrupulous merchant needs to charge a Caribbean vacation on your card.

5 Things You Should Know About Virtual Credit Cards

Yes, it's true that you're not liable for unauthorized charges, but until you get the charges reversed your account may not have enough credit for other, valid purchases. By paying with a virtual credit card number, you can shop safely even when the merchant is iffy.

1. Are There Any Downsides to Virtual Credit Cards? 

The biggest negative for virtual credit card numbers is that they only work online. You can't use a virtual credit card in a situation where you'd swipe a physical card. Also, returns can be problematic if the virtual card you used has expired; you might have to take store credit. And, of course, a crooked merchant can take your payment without shipping your purchase. Even though you used a virtual card number, you'd have to dispute that charge. Still, virtual credit card numbers can serve as a nice buffer between your actual credit card details and online merchants.

2. My Bank Doesn't Offer Virtual Credit Cards. Now What? 

Boston-based Abine offers a product called MaskMe. The basic free edition creates disposable email addresses to foil spammers, and includes basic password management. For $5 per month you can upgrade to Premium, which gets you the ability to generate virtual credit card numbers even when your card issuer doesn't have native support. A similar service called Shop Shield seems to have fallen by the wayside when the company re-invented itself to offer business-oriented password management. If you manage to get your hands on an Apple Watch or iPhone 6, you'll have the option to use Apple Pay at stores that support it. While not precisely the same as a virtual credit card, Apple Pay serves the same purpose, letting you pay without giving the merchant a credit card number.

3. Where Can I Get a Virtual Credit Card? 

Bank of America offers the ShopSafe service to any Visa or MasterCard holder who also uses online banking. With ShopSafe you can set a maximum credit limit and configure the card's expiration. Citibank's similar Virtual Account Number service also lets you set a credit limit and expiry date, and it includes an optional Windows-specific application that can automatically fill in credit card details. MasterCard owns has its own virtual credit card service, but the issuer can choose whether or not to actually offer the service. Check with the issuer of your credit card to see whether this service is available.

4. Where Can't I Get One? 

A number of other credit issuers have provided virtual credit cards in the past, but no longer. Discover halted such a service earlier this year when MasterCard bought the company supplying their technology. American Express offered "Private Payment" from 2000 to 2004. PayPal's Virtual Debit Card system, which had the added bonus of letting you easily pay with PayPal even on sites that don't support it, ended in 2010.

5. What Is a Virtual Credit Card? 

A virtual credit card number is a randomly-generated card number associated with your actual credit card. Depending on the issuer, you may be able to set a maximum charge for the virtual number, further protecting your transaction. And typically you can set it to expire in anywhere up to a year from its creation date. To the online merchant, it looks no different from any other credit card. The charges appear on your regular bill, but the merchant doesn't have your actual credit card number.
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Saturday, February 10, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – MalacaƱang has released the list of holidays for 2018.


President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 269 on July 17. It was released for public dissemination on Wednesday, July 19.

The regular holidays are:

January 1, 2018, Monday – New Year's Day
March 29, 2018 – Maundy Thursday 
March 30, 2018 – Good Friday
April 9, 2018, Monday – Araw ng Kagitingan 
May 1, 2018, Tuesday – Labor Day 
June 12, 2018, Tuesday – Independence Day
August 27, 2018, last Monday of August – National Heroes' Day 
November 30, 2018, Friday – Bonifacio Day
December 25, 2018, Tuesday – Christmas Day 
December 30, 2018
, Sunday – Rizal Day

Special (non-working) days:

February 16, 2018, Friday – Chinese New Year 
February 25, 2018, Sunday – EDSA Revolution Anniversary
March 31, 2018 – Black Saturday 
August 21, 2018, Tuesday – Ninoy Aquino Day 
November 1, 2018, Thursday – All Saints' Day 
December 31, 2018, Monday – last day of the year
Additional special (non-working) holidays:
November 2, 2018, Friday 
December 24, 2018, Monday

Proclamations to declare national holidays for Eid'l Fitr and Eid'l Adha follow after approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined.

National Regular Holidays Compensation – Philippines

a. If it is an employee’s regular workday
  • If unworked – 100%
  • If worked – 1st 8 hours – 200%
  • Excess of 8 hours – plus 30% of hourly rate on said day
b. If it is an employee rest day
  • If unworked – 100%
  • If worked – 1st 8 hours – plus 30% of 200%
  • Excess of 8 hours – plus 30% of hourly rate on said day
Special Days – Philippines

For declared special days such as Special Non-working Day, Special Public Holiday, Special National Holiday, in addition to the two nationwide special days (November 1, All Saints Day and December 31, Last Day of the Year), the following rules shall apply:

a.  If unworked
  • No pay, unless there is a favorable company policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) granting payment of wages on special days even if unworked.
b. If worked
  • 1st 8 hours – plus 30% of the daily rate of 100%
  • excess of 8 hours – plus 30% of hourly rate on said day
c. Falling on the employee’s rest day and if worked
  • 1st 8 hours – plus 50% of the daily rate of 100%
  • excess of 8 hours – plus 30% of hourly rate on said day

Special Working Holidays – Philippines

For work performed, an employee in the Philippines is entitled only to his basic rate. No premium pay is required since work performed on said days is considered work on ordinary working days.
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Sunday, February 4, 2018

21ST French Film Festival Year 2016

Cinema may be the most universal form of entertainment today. Movies cross national boundaries and language barriers through moving images and human stories, bridging gaps between different cultures and people.

In the last 20 years, the French Film Festival in the Philippines has brought to the Filipino audience some of the best of French cinema, representing images of France and its society and carrying values and traditions while also depicting its concerns, issues and experiences to be shared with the viewers.

The 21st French Film Festival offers viewers a wide selection of movies, many of which were released in Parisian theaters  this year. A public of all ages, from the youth to the seniors, and from all walks of life, from students to professionals, will surely find a film that they could identify with. While France is commonly associated with wealth and luxury, many of these films deal with socio-economic realities such as unemployment, migration, or even feminist movements that often lead to crises in relationships whether within a family or among lovers and friends.


Manang Biring is a comedy-drama about a feisty but terminally-ill old lady who has learned to accept her imminent demise. Until one day, she receives a letter from her long-estranged daughter abroad announcing of her return for the holidays. As she races against time with her declining health, Biring will go to great lenghts to prolong her life and gift her daughter and grandson a happy Christmas. 

Five, A young man paying rent for himself and his lifelong friends at an apartment ends up flat-broke and resorts to selling marijuana to pay the bills - only to get caught up in the dangerous world of drugs.

Party Girl, Angelique is sixty years old. She still loves to party and she still loves men. At night, to earn a living, she gets them to drink in  nightclub on the German border. With passing time, clients have become few and far between. But Michel, her regular, is still in love with her. One day, he asks her to marry him.

Belles Familles,  Jerome Varenne lives in Shanghai. During a quick trip to Paris, he learns that his childhood home in the village of Ambray is at the center of a local conflict. He heads there to straighten things out. This escapade will change his life forever.

Grand Central, Gary is young, agile, quick learner. He's one of those who's never been promised anything. After a succession of odd jobs, he begins work at a nuclear power plant. There, amongst the reactors and their high doses of radioactivity, he finally finds what he's been looking for: money, a team, a family. But the team also includes Karole, Toni's wife, with whom he falls in love. Forbidden love and radiation slowly contaminate Gary. Each day is menacing.

Le Fantome de Canterville, In the depths of legendary Brittany, Alienor de Canterville's ghost is condemned to haunt his family's castle and to scare away any new inhabitants. She fulfills this mission wonderfully, assisted by Gwilherm, her faithful servant. But when the Otis family, fleeing from Parisian life, buys the castle, Alienor is upset that she doesn't manage to frighten this 21st century tribe. Only 15 year old Virginia Otis, moved by the the Canterville ghost's fate, will try to free Alienor from the curse affecting her life.

Bird People, In transit in an international hotel near Roissy airport on the outskirts of Paris, a computer engineer coping with huge amount of professional and emotional pressure decides to radically change the direction of his life. A few hours later, a young hotel maid, who is at an in between period of her life, finds her existence turned upside down by a supernatural event.

La Ritournelle, Brigitte and Xavier farm cattle in Normandy. Brigette's a dreamer, with her head in the clouds, whereas Xavier's feet are firmly on the ground and his main focus is his work. Now that their children have left home, the couple's routine life increasingly weighs Brigitte down. One day, in a moment's madness, she leaves the fields behind and heads for Paris. Xavier then realizes that he is perhaps going to lose her. Will they manage to get back together? And how does one reinvent oneself after so many years? To regain your wife's affections, you sometimes have to take a crooked path.

Encore Heureux, Yes, Marie is a little tired of the carefree attitude of her husband Sam. She is very tempted to allow herself to be seduced by a handsome anonymous man who courts her. There is also her daughter's piano competition. This crazy light and balance stands more or less, as unexpected events cast that whole family on an even crazier path.

Les Nouvelles Aventures D'Aladin, On Christmas Eve, Sam and his best buddy Khalid dress up as Santa to steal as much as they can from a department store. But Sam gets cornered by some children and has to tell them a story, the story of Aladin - his version, at least. Taking on the character of Aladin, Sam heads off on a voyage to the heart of Baghdad, city of a thousand and one riches. But alas, behind the colorful folklore, the poeple are suffering from the tyranny of the terrible Vizir, known for his cruelty and his dubious breath. Will the young thief Aladin, helped by his genie, be able to thwart the Vizir's diabolical plans, save Khalid, and win the heart of Princess Shalia? Actually he will. But we won't lie to you.: it's not going to be easy!

Mon Roi, Tony is admitted to a rehabilitation center after a serious skiing accident. Dependent on the medical staff and pain relievers, she takes time to look back on her turbulent relationship with Georgio. Why did they each other? Who is this man that she loved so deeply? How did she allow herself to submit to this suffocating and destructive passion? For Tony, a difficult process of healing lies aheead of her, physical work which may finally set her free.

Imbisibol tells the tale of illegal Filipino immigrants in Japan and their plight to evade authorities. It weaves together several narratives about undocumented Filipino workers trying to support themselves and their families back home by taking under-the-counter work in japan.  

Les Souvenirs, Romain is 23 years old. He'd like to be a writer, but for the moment, he's a night watchman in a hotel. His father is 62 years old. He is retired and seems to not give a damn about anything. He shares an apartment with a 24-year-old guy whose sole aim in life is to seduce women, no matter who, and no matter the cost.

His grandmother is 85 years old. She's in an old people's home and wonders what on earth she is doing stuck with all these old people. One day, Romain's father turns up flustered. His grandmother has disappeared. In fact, she kind of escaped. Romain sets out to find her, somewhere in his memories.

Human, is a collection of stories about images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Through these stories full of love and hapiness, as well as hatred and violence, HUMAN brings us face to face with the Other, making us reflect on our lives. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are - our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection. Human is a politically engaged work which allow us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence.

Toute Premiere Fois, Jeremie, 34 wakes up in an apartment he doesn't know, next to a woman he doesn't know. She is Adna, a stunning Swedish woman who is a funny as she is sweet. Is this the beginning of a fairy tale? Not quite, since Jeremie is about to get married-to Antoine. 

Antoine ressembles one of the heroes in the films whose scores he composes. He's charming, successful, and goes through life with as much humor as lightheartedness. When hetravels to India to work on a very original version of Romeo and Juliette, he encounters Anna, a woman with whom he has nothing in common, but who he finds devastatingly attractive. Together, they'll live an incredible adventure.

Monsieur Sim, Mister Sim is of no concern to anyone whatsoever. At least, this is what he thinks about himself. His wife has left him, him job has left him, and when goes to see his father in a remote part of Italy, not even Dad has time to have lunch with him. He then receives an unexpected offer: to travel through France selling toothbrushes that will "revolutionize oral-dental hygiene." He takes advantage of the job to catch up with people from his childhood, to meet the first big love of his life, along with his daughter, and to make amazing discoveries and, in so doing, rediscover himself. 

Un Homme Ideal  25-year-old Mathieu has always aspired to become a famous author. It's a dream which seems inaccessible because, despite all his efforts, he has never managed to be published. Meanwhile, he earns his living by working for a moving company. His destiny takes a new turn the day he stumbles across the manuscript of an elderly and solitary man who has recently died. At first Mathieu hesitates, then finally decides to steal the text and pretend he wrote it. He becomes the bright new start of French literature. Everyone is now eagerly anticipating his second novel, and as each day passes and pressure mounts. Mathieu plunges ever deeper into a criminal spiral of lies in order to keep his dark secret hidden. 

La Belle Saison:  1971, Delphine is 23 years old. A farmer's daughter, she comes to Paris so as to be financially independent; she dreams of running her own farm, something unthinkable for a woman to do at this time. Carole is a Parisian. She's actively involved with the feminist movement. When Delphine and Caarole meet, their love affair turns their lives upside down. But Delphine is obliged to return to the family farm. Carole follows her. Once there, they'll have to cope with another reality.

Source: Expat Newspaper  
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Saturday, February 3, 2018

CnT Lechon – Crunchiest of Cebu Lechons!

CnT Lechon – Crunchiest of Cebu Lechons!
1/4 kilo CnT Lechon- P120

Ask your hotel or resort receptionist and even a cab driver, CnT Lechon is the first lechon place being recommended to tourists and locals. It is meaty, less fatty, juicy and cheaper without sacrificing the taste.

CnT Lechon – Crunchiest of Cebu Lechons!
Nilangang Lechon- P75

CnT Lechon – Crunchiest of Cebu Lechons!
Rice- P15 | Water- P20

CnT Lechon has several branches all over Cebu. Its most visited branch is located at 1377 V. Rama Ave., Guadalupe, Cebu City, Cebu. You can contact them at (032) 254-4249 or 254-6641 for inquiries and reservations.

CnT Lechon – Crunchiest of Cebu Lechons!

CnT Branch Just Outside SM Cebu

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