by Johanna Marie Drece, Joie April Lanuzga, and Yunika Ysa Lasic
On October 23,the Social Security System (SSS) of Sta. Cruz conducted a seminar for Los Baños residents at the activity area of the municipal hall. The seminar aimed to inform current and prospective SSS members about a more convenient way to avail of the SSS services reducing the need to take around two hours of travel to the SSS Sta. Cruz, which caters to 20 municipalities in Laguna. Around 70 participants joined the seminar and applied for an SSS account.
Sta. Cruz Branch Head Roman Belen explained that SSS wants to be more approachable to current and prospective members, by increasing the ease of use accessibility to SSS services. According to Belen, the main goal of SSS is to provide social protection to Filipinos in times of need. Belen led the previous SSS seminars in Pakil, Sta. Maria, Cavinti, and Mabitac. According to SSS Senior Analyst Linda Garcia, SSS also aims to make 9 out of 10 Filipinos socially secure through SSS.
Belen explained said that SSS covers Filipinos from all walks of life. “This is open to all. Meaning, this is also available to our ambulant vendors on the street, household helpers, Oversees Filipino Workers (OFWs), our jeepney and tricycle drivers, farmers and fishermen, manicurista and hair stylists, et cetera. As long as they have an association, they can represent us. Expanded self-employed workers such as car wash employees, junk shop owners, and even inmates can also avail the benefits of the program. The manner of payment this time will not be through Salary Deduction but through the AslkanSSSya Program,” he said.
In the AlkanSSSya Program, Been explained that associations will have secured piggy banks that are structured like a cabinet with several sections with the corresponding names of the members. Each member has a goal to save up PhP 330 per month (PhP 12 per day). Every end of the month, a representative from the association, one from SSS, and one from Bayan Center will collect the contributions.
The benefits of having an SSS membership include:
- retirement benefits where the person is in entitled to a monthly pension after retirement when he reached 60 or 65 years and a 13th month pay during Decembers provided that he made at least 120 months of contribution upon his membership;
- disability benefits where the disabled member is qualified to accept monthly disability pension if he was able to pay contributions for at least 36 months; 3)
- sickness benefits where the member who suffers from disease that costs him or her to be absent from at least four days of work is eligible to receive 90 percent of his or her average daily salary;
- maternity benefits where the cash allowance equates to 100 percent of the daily wage of the woman multiplied by 60 for normal delivery and miscarriage, and 78 for caesarean;
- death and funeral benefits in which beneficiaries depend upon the discretion of the member;
- employee compensation benefits where both the employee and the employer is provided with monetary security, and
- loan benefits which is comprised of member loan, business loan, and housing loan.
A more detailed explanation about SSS benefits can be found at the SSS website www.sss.gov.ph. Records of members can also be viewed here via online registration as well as the SSS profile, available E-services, and details about registration among others.
The seminar was organized on October 19, 2014, two weeks before the event. It was spearheaded by Mayor Perez in partnership with SSS Sta. Cruz Branch and the cooperation of barangay officials.The next stop of Belen’s team for the SSS seminar is in Pangil, Laguna.