MANILA, Philippines - The administering agencies of the Employees' Compensation Program (ECP), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for the public sector and the Social Security System (SSS) for the private, have awarded a total of P574.77 million in benefits payments covering 140,911 claims filed by workers from January to June 2011.
The amount comes from the State Insurance Fund (SIF) which holds the contributions paid by government agencies and private employers. The fund finances the program's benefit payments for sickness, disability, medical and rehabilitation services.
In the first semester of 2011, the total contributions remitted to the GSIS by government agencies amounted to P1.19 billion, while private employers remitted P687.98 million to the SSS.
As of last June, the SIF was reported to be at P9.57 billion at the GSIS and P27 billion at the SSS.
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …