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Draft social protection law unveiled

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Ros Seilava, chairman of the National Council for Social Protection’s Executive Committee, leads a seminar on the ‘Draft Law on Social Protection System’ via video link on Thursday. FRESH NEWS

Draft social protection law unveiled

The government has drawn up a “Draft Law on Social Protection System” to ensure minimum standards of well-being and reduce economic and financial vulnerabilities.

The draft law is designed to strengthen the income security of the people and promote social equality through the creation and management of social protection initiatives that promote inclusive, scalable and sustainable financial systems.

Ros Seilava, chairman of the National Council for Social Protection’s Executive Committee, on July 1 led a seminar on the document via video link.

Seilava, who is also a secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, told the seminar that the government recognises that development of social protection systems plays a very important role in ensuring the financial well-being of the people of Cambodia.

And the National Social Protection Policy Framework 2016-2025 is vital to increasing access to services, the coverage of national assistance programmes, and social security for public and private sector officials, he said.

He stressed that the current version of the draft is in line with the government’s vision of transforming the Kingdom from a lower middle-income country to an upper middle-income country by 2030, and a high-income country by 2050.

In its current form, the draft law comprises 10 chapters and 91 articles.

Seilava said: “To ensure the security of people’s income, the government has set a long-term vision for the development of social protection systems, which serves as a tool to reduce and prevent poverty, vulnerability and social inequality.”

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the law would provide the significant benefit of minimising potential risks, such as disease outbreaks or even epidemics, natural disasters, or other forces majeures.

“I think all of this will focus on spending the state budget in a balanced way, between revenues and expenditures, for the relief of potential risks.

“And it [the law] can also cover all of the state expenditures involved in emergency relief for vulnerable entities – like companies, small and medium enterprises – this law is made to protect them all,” he said.

And with the situation surrounding the February 20 community outbreak of the novel coronavirus spiralling to alarming levels, putting escalating pressures on socio-economic systems, the government recently issued a ninth round of economic relief measures for the private sector, to help stabilise severely-hit businesses.

The government in the third quarter of this year will continue to provide $40 per month to workers in the textile, garment, footwear, travel goods and tourism sectors, as part of its cash handout programme amid the pandemic.

Factory owners must add $30 to the handout, increasing the total disbursement to $70. On the other hand, employers in the tourism sector are encouraged to voluntarily provide as much money as possible.

The government will also extend the cash handout programme to poor and vulnerable people affected by Covid-19, for July-September.

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