Cambodian delegation attends social security workshop in Malaysia

National Social Security Fund (NSSF) deputy director-general Heng Sophannarith (third from left) at the meeting on the Asian Workers’ Compensation Association in Malaysia on Sept 6. - NSSF

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/Asia News Network): National Social Security Fund (NSSF) deputy director-general Heng Sophannarith led a delegation to a board of directors’ meeting and a technical-level workshop of the Asian Workers’ Compensation Association (AWCA) to discuss social protection for workers.

Sophannarith and the party of Cambodian officials attended the meeting and the workshop – on social security orientation and post-Covid-19 wellbeing in Asia – in Malaysia from Sept 6-8.

The event is held to share the progress of each member institution and discuss cooperative measures that AWCA members could employ to improve the protection and welfare of workers.

At the meeting, Sophannarith shared his experiences related to the operation of the NSSF, saying that Cambodia had evolved in terms of the NSSF, which was established in 2007. In 2008, the government began implementing the social security system for occupational risk, and in 2016 adapted it to include health care for private sector employees.

He added that in the public sector, the NSSF had introduced health care in 2018 and occupational risk in 2021.

“In July, the NSSF introduced a social security system for pensions – for all individuals who qualify under Labour Law. This is another achievement of the government of Cambodia which promotes social stability and ensures the income security of the people when they retire,” said Sophannarith.

Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina said that when the government implemented social protection it was a step forward, but he would like to see Cambodia studying other policies in the region, so it could adjust its policies and respond to local needs.

“We have the opportunity to share experiences with our regional partners, so we should examine what they have implemented and compare it to what we have done here. If they are superior, we should adapt their methods so that the Cambodian public is receiving the very best support it can,” he said.

He added that implementation of the social protection system has improved, but workers still faced some problems when seeking NSSF services. He urged the leadership of the institution to examine and monitor its officials so as to avoid criticism.

“The system has seen improvements, but NSSF officials in some provinces do not seem to pay attention to workers who attempt to access services. I have received requests for intervention from several workers who have found themselves in this position,” he added.

The meeting was arranged by the Social Security Organisation of Malaysia, whose chairman, Mohammed Azman, is currently president of the AWCA. The meeting was attended by 13 members of the AWCA. from 10 nations – Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

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