More than 50 cooperatives and associations nationwide joined the state-run Social Security System on its fourth Multi-Sectoral Forum which aims to promote SSS programs for self-employed workers in the informal sector.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said that the multi-sectoral event is an opportunity to look for potential partners in bringing social security protection to informal sector workers from far-flung areas.
“SSS conducts this kind of forum to further reach out to one of the most vulnerable sectors of our economy. We at SSS, believe that the informal sector, like any other private working Filipino, should be protected from the hazards of the sudden loss of income due to sickness, disability, death or retirement,” Ignacio said.
Aside from the organized groups, national government agencies namely Securities and Exchange Commission-Microfinance Institutions (SEC-MFI) and attached agencies under the Department of Agriculture like Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) were also represented.
“It is unfortunate that our farmers and fisherfolks, who feed 104.9 million Filipinos, are the most vulnerable workers in the economy due to the rapidly changing climate and various pests and diseases which greatly affect their productivity and income. That is why we also invited our colleagues from the government sector to let them know that SSS is here to help them in times of financial contingencies through SSS membership,” SSS Executive Vice President for Branch Operations Sector Judy Frances A. See said during the event on behalf of PCEO Ignacio last 30 September.
The multi-sectoral event, tagged as “SSS: Nakikiisa sa Pagsulong ng Social Protection Para sa mga Manggagawa sa Informal Sector,” was attended by about 100 representatives from 50 cooperatives, organizations, Local Government Units (LGUs) and National Government Agencies (NGAs).
Among the event highlights was the sharing of best practices of Simbayanan ni Maria Multi-Purpose Cooperative President and Chief Executive Officer Angelita S. Ramos and SEDPI Development Finance Inc. Chairperson Mariel Vincent A. Rapisuraas SSS-accredited Partner Agents (PAs), and Cooperative Development Authority Executive Director Rey R. Elevazo, CSEE.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our accredited partner agents for helping us provide SSS services to their respective members. For today’s participants, we hope that you would become our partners in achieving a common goal of building more resilient communities through social security protection,” Ignacio concluded.
The SSS Partner Accreditation (PA) Program started in 2012 wherein cooperatives and microfinance institutions (MFIs) are tapped by SSS to provide various services for their own members who are also SSS members. Servicing partner agents are tasked to receive members’ applications such as SSS registration, salary loans, and funeral benefits while collecting partner agents are authorized to collect SSS contributions, loan amortizations, and other miscellaneous payments.
As of August 2019, the SSS has accredited 54 PAs nationwide—nine of which are from the National Capital Region (NCR), 27 from Luzon, 11 from Visayas, and seven from Mindanao.
From January to August 2019, 50 SSS-accredited servicing PAs facilitated 2,250 transactions while 48 accredited collecting PAs collected P63.61 million worth of contributions and loan amortizations.
The NCR event is already the fourth multi-sectoral forum conducted by SSS since 2017. There will be three more events until year-end which will be held in Cauayan in Isabela, Calamba in Laguna, and Tacloban in Leyte. For further inquiries, interested participants may contact the SSS Cooperatives and Informal Sector Department at telephone numbers 922-1059 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.