[Myanmar] Reforms aim to improve social security system

The Social Security Board says it is cooperating with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to implement an all-inclusive social security system in Myanmar.

Reforms will be made to social security information, management, health assistance and legal affairs, said U Maung Maung Aye, director general of the board.

“We are developing a management information system for social security and reviewing the 2012 Social Security Law to bring it in line with international standards. On Saturday, a pilot project to make it easier to get insurance payments for injuries at work was conducted in Pyigyitagun township in Mandalay and Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon. The board is closely working with the ILO on reforms,” said ILO senior technical officer Mariana Infante Villarrioe.

Previously, over 700,000 workers were enrolled in social security. While that number has now increased to 1.3 million of the 22 million workers in Myanmar, coverage is still low.

The goal of the board, which is to cover the whole nation, will only be reached after the reforms are made in the four main sectors, said U Maung Maung Aye.

The Social Security Law includes a health and social care fund, family assistance fund, invalid benefit, superannuation benefit and survivors’ benefit, unemployment benefit, and housing plan fund.

The board enacted the Social Security Act in 1954 to implement social security projects in Myanmar, and the act was implemented in 1964. This act was amended in 2012, providing for six security funds and 15 benefits.

“To have a successful social security system, it is important that people trust the system by having good administration. We plan to extend the health care fund, and have finished a one-year trial run. We are reviewing the reports, and if accepted, we will extend the programme. It will take three to five years to reform the health sector and three years to reform the IT sector. In Thailand, the reform process took up to ten years,” he said.

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