The first round of negotiations for a Social Security Agreement (SSA) between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Denmark was concluded successfully, a half-day earlier than previously scheduled, on 01 February 2011, with both parties agreeing to meet in Manila at the soonest time possible in order to finalize and sign the much-awaited agreement.
The Philippine Delegation (PhilDel), headed by Philippine Social Security System President and CEO Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr., met with its Danish counterparts at the premises of the Danish Ministry of Employment from 31 January to 01 February 2011 fully prepared for the negotiations which were held in a cordial, professional and cooperative atmosphere.
The SSA, once signed, will guarantee, among other things, the portability of pensions of qualified Filipino and Danish nationals, taking into consideration applicable Philippine and Danish laws, legislations and guidelines.
Meanwhile, both parties agreed to finalize the required Administrative Arrangements and other applicable forms through electronic communication as soon as possible.
Some few remaining areas of clarification in the draft SSA will be tackled during the final meeting in Manila prior to its signing.
On 30 January, the Philippine Delegation also met with leaders of the Filipino Community in Denmark at the residence of Philippine Honorary Con. Gen Poul Krogh to brief them on the said negotiations and to receive feedback from the latter regarding the subject matter. Discussions were lively and the meeting was concluded on a positive note with the Filipino community leaders expressing happiness and gratitude for this much-awaited SSA.
Government-to-government talks were initiated by the Philippine Government as far back as 1999 and again in 2006 when a precedent to harmonize some aspects of the pension or social security systems between the Philippines and Denmark was made possible by an SSA between the governments of Denmark and the US.
Mr. de Quiros and his Danish counterpart, Ms. Lone Henriksen, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the negotiations and looked forward to its signing in Manila within the year.
Other members of the Philippine delegation were:
- Ms. Judy Frances A. See, Senior Vice President, Program Management Group, Social Security System.
- Ms. Consuelo D. Manansala, Executive Vice President for Operations, Government Service Insurance System.
- Atty. Grace M. Tan, Labor Arbiter, Department of Labor and Employment.
- Ms. Lenna Eilleen C. de Dios-Sison, Third Secretary & Vice Consul of the Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Norway.
- Mr. Poul Krogh, Philippine Honorary Consul General, Philippine Honorary Consulate General, Copenhagen, Denmark.