SSS inaugurates new office for Manila residents

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The Social Security System (SSS) has inaugurated a new branch in Sta.Mesa, Manila to benefit about 22,000 members residing within the area and nearby districts of Paco, Pandacan and Sta. Ana.
The SSS Sta.Mesa branch located at the J&T Building along Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard corner Santol Extension Road is the 61st office of the SSS in National Capital Region. A total of 3,244 employers existing accounts, which represent 22,634 employees fall under its jurisdiction.
Photo above shows SSS President Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr. cutting the ribbon with Manila – District 4 Representative Ma. Theresa Bonoan – David during the blessing and inauguration ceremonies on January 23. Also present were (from L-R) Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Erwin Malaya, Social Security Commission – Women’s Sector Representative Elvira Arcus, SSS Senior Vice President for NCR Operations Group Jose Bautista, SSS Sta. Mesa Branch Head Lazaro Canlas, J&T Realty Corporation Present Lily Tanco, and SSS Assistant Vice President for NCR Central Division Helen Abolencia.

SSS Media Affairs Department
7th floor, SSS Building, East Ave., Diliman, Quezon City
9206401 loc. 5052-5055, 5058



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SSS bares Balikat ng Bayan winners, OFW remittance agency enters Hall of Fame

The Social Security System (SSS) has awarded its “Balikat ng Bayan” distinction to twelve winners this year for their exemplary performance as employers, collecting and paying banks, and media partners, while the ”Hall of Fame” citation was granted to a top-performing remittance company for overseas Filipino workers (OFW) after winning in the same category for three straight years.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said iRemit, Inc., which had won as Best Collecting Partner for OFW Remittances from 2010 to 2012, led the cast of awardees of the 2013 Balikat ng Bayan Awards held during the SSS Anniversary Program at the agency’s corporate headquarters in Quezon City on September 9.
“The celebration of our 56th year would not be complete without recognizing the invaluable role of employers, banks and the media as SSS partners in advancing the social security protection of Filipino workers,” de Quiros said. “The Balikat ng Bayan awardees set the standards of quality service for the benefit of millions of SSS members.”
The Balikat ng Bayan plaques, specially made by Filipino sculptor Dr. Antonino Raymundo, were presented to the winners by de Quiros, Social Security Commission Chairman Juan Santos and SSS Executive Vice President Edgar Solilapsi.
Jollibee Foods Corporation, the country’s largest fast food chain with over 10,000 employees, and Notre Dame of Cotabato Inc., a Marist School supported by the Oblate Fathers in Central Mindanao with about 70 workers, won as top employers in the large and small/medium categories, respectively.
“Jollibee and Notre Dame have shown excellent compliance to their obligations under the Social Security Law. Moreover, they regularly submit accurate company reports to SSS on time, and participate in SSS programs such as general information seminars,” de Quiros noted.
For SSS’ collection partners for members’ contributions and loan payments, the chosen winners were Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc. as Best Commercial Bank, Planters Development Bank as Best Thrift Bank, and One Network Bank, Inc. as Best Rural Bank. The Best Collecting Partner for OFW Remittances Award this year went to Ventaja International Corporation.
“As for the SSS paying banks, which disburse benefits to members and pensioners, the awardees were Land Bank of the Philippines as Best Commercial Bank, First Consolidated Bank as Best Thrift Bank, and Rural Bank of Sagay as Best Rural Bank,” de Quiros disclosed.
Manila Bulletin won as SSS’ Best Media Partner for Print for the second year in a row. Net 25’s public service program “Responde” won in the television category, while Aksyon Solusyon of Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM emerged on top of the radio category. The Best Media Partner categories were introduced in 2011 to recognize media’s role in disseminating SSS updates and developments to members and stakeholders all over the country and overseas.

Cooperatives, partner-institutions receive SSS special awards

The Social Security System (SSS) conferred the first-ever “Miyembro, Bilib Kami Sa’Yo” Special Awards to four cooperatives and five informal sector groups (ISGs) for their pioneering partnerships with SSS that have paved the way for social protection and active SSS membership of workers in their respective sectors during ceremonies on September 9.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said the SSS also honored five retail corporations for their role in making SSS services accessible to the mall-going public during the awarding ceremonies, which was part of the Anniversary Program held at the SSS Building in Quezon City.
“With the support of ISGs, cooperatives and other partner institutions, the SSS has been able to establish innovative ways of reaching out to millions of Filipino workers, especially those in the informal sector. We commend the awardees for being the first in their sectors to embrace new possibilities in bringing the SSS closer to their members and clients,” he added.
The new SSS awards program is inspired by the 56th SSS anniversary theme “Nagpupugay sa Miyembro, Bilib Kami Sa’Yo!” De Quiros, Social Security Commission Chairman Juan Santos and SSS Executive Vice President Edgar Solilapsi presented the trophy to the representatives of the 14 awardees, some of whom have traveled from areas as far as Legaspi and General Santos cities.
The awarded cooperatives were Deep Well Sumulong Irrigators Association, Inc. as the first SSS servicing partner agent (PA) and subsidy provider; Dao Multi-Purpose Cooperative as first SSS collecting cooperative; Simbag sa Pag-Asenso, Inc. as first SSS servicing PA; and Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Inc. as first SSS servicing PA with a nationwide scope.
De Quiros said the ISG-awardees were TS Cruz Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TSC-TODA) and the United Vendors of New Las Piñas Public Market, both from Las Piñas City; QC Female Dormitory Working Inmates and Payatas Alliance Recycling Exchange Multi-Purpose Cooperative, both from Quezon City; and Samahan ng mga Caddies sa Calatagan Golf Club, Inc. from Batangas province.
“These five ISGs showed exemplary initiative in enabling their respective memberships to become active SSS members through our microsavings program called the ‘AlkanSSSya’,” de Quiros noted. “They were also the first to join the AlkanSSSya Program among the various associations nationwide for transport workers, market vendors, golf club workers, waste recyclers and jail inmates.”
TSC-TODA’s successful participation in the pilot implementation of the “TrikanSSSya” project, which aims to eliminate barriers to active SSS membership of TODA members, in December 2011 helped shape the current AlkanSSSya Program. At present, the AlkanSSSya Program has about 300 participating ISGs, including TODAs from other parts of the country.
SSS also presented the “Miyembro, Bilib Kami Sa’Yo” Special Award to Robinsons Land Corporation for providing SSS with mall space and facilities that led to the creation of SSS Service Offices located at Lingkod Pinoy Centers in nearly 20 Robinsons Malls nationwide.
Likewise awarded were Araneta Center, Inc., Masterpiece Asia Properties, Willin Sales Inc. and KCC Property Holding for their contribution in the establishment of mall-based SSS Service Offices in Ali Mall (Cubao, Quezon City), Starmall (San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan), Walter Mart Makiling (Calamba, Laguna) and KCC Mall (Lagao, General Santos City).

SSS 56th anniversary exhibit highlights heroism of Andres Bonifacio and Filipino workers

The Social Security System (SSS) is holding a special exhibit titled “Pagpupugay Kay Gat Andres, Bayani ng Manggagawang Pilipino, at sa mga Makabagong Bayani ng Bayan: Bilib Kami Sa’Yo!” The exhibit, which is in line with the 56th anniversary celebration of SSS on September 1, 2013, highlights the heroism of the Filipino worker, as exemplified by national hero Andres Bonifacio.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. along with representatives of government and private insitutions graced the exhibit’s launch on August 30.

“Prior to his rise as one of the pillars of the Philippine revolution, Gat Andres Bonifacio was already a hero at a young age to his siblings when he took on the responsibilities of being a family breadwinner following the death of his parents,” SSS Vice President for Public Affairs and Special Events Division Marissu Bugante said. “Through this exhibit, we likewise recognize the heroism of modern-day ‘Bonifacios’, the SSS members, whose hard work and dedication help bring their families, and even the entire nation, towards a brighter and more secure future.”

The 56th SSS anniversary exhibit will run until November 30 — the date of Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary — all the way to December 27, the last working day of 2013. The first half of the exhibit puts the spotlight on Bonifacio’s early years, his role in the Philippine revolt against the Spanish colonial rule, and his final days.

Bugante said the second half of the exhibit showcases SSS’ campaign in bringing social security protection to more workers, especially to informal sector workers. At the forefront of this campaign is the “AlkanSSSya,” a microsavings program that enables members of participating informal sector groups (ISGs) to save regularly for monthly SSS contributions using a secure, cabinet-like facility.

“The months leading up to our 56th year of service were characterized by numerous partnerships forged between SSS and ISGs, as shown in our anniversary exhibit,” she noted. “One of the major highlights is the fast growth in AlkanSSSya membership, which rose to about 300 covered ISGs at present, from only 55 participating ISGs at the start of 2013.”

Bugante added that the exhibit also shows new SSS milestones such as the first-ever SSS subsidy agreement that provides social security protection to nearly 200 farmers in Central Luzon, and the accreditation of workers’ associations as SSS servicing partner agents to improve access of self-employed and informal sector workers to SSS services.

Created as the state-run pension fund for the private sector, the SSS started operations on September 1, 1957 after amendments to the landmark “Social Security Act of 1954” took effect and paved the way for the SSS Charter’s implementation. While the SSS initially focused on regular employees, the types of covered workers expanded over the decades to include household helpers, overseas Filipino workers, self-employed professionals, farmers, fisherfolk and informal sector workers

SSS members, pensioners and the general public are invited to visit the SSS Gallery located at the 2nd floor of the SSS Building in Quezon City. The SSS Gallery is open from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, excluding holidays. Admission is free.

SSS offers relief package for calamity-stricken members

The Social Security System (SSS) unveiled a calamity relief package consisting of early renewal of salary loans and easier house repair loan terms as well as the advanced release of pensions for members affected by heavy rains and widespread floods caused by Tropical Storm “Maring” and the southwest monsoon or “habagat.”

In a press statement issued recently, SSS Vice President May Catherine Ciriaco, Officer-in-Charge of the SSS Lending and Asset Management Division, said the SSS relief package is extended to members in calamity areas officially declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), which at present includes the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal; the cities of Paraňaque, Muntinlupa, Malabon, Marikina, Pasay, Tarlac, Candon and Dagupan; as well as several municipalities and barangays in parts of Metro Manila and Luzon.

“We shall also consider all other areas that may later be declared under a state of calamity by the NDRRMC due to the effects of the recent ‘habagat’ and Tropical Storm ‘Maring,’” Ciriaco said. “The calamity relief package will provide members needed funds for basic and immediate needs such as food, clothing and medicines. It can also help them rebuild or reconstruct their damaged houses or re-establish their sources of livelihood.”

Under the calamity relief package, affected members can avail themselves of the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP) wherein they can renew their existing salary loan earlier than the prescribed date based on regular SSS loan guidelines, which is one year after the date of loan release. As special consideration, the SLERP also provides the lifting of current sanctions imposed on borrowers in affected areas who had earlier availed themselves of the SSS Loan Penalty Condonation Program.

“The one percent service fee will also be waived under the SLERP. The net amount of the loan shall be the difference between the approved loan amount and the previous loan balance, and affected members have until October 31, 2013 to apply under this program at the SSS branch nearest them,” she said.

Ciriaco said the second component of the calamity relief package is the reduction of annual interest rates under the SSS Direct House Repair and/or Improvement Loan by two percentage points from the regular SSS rates of eight percent for loans worth P400,000 and below, and nine percent for higher loan amounts. To be eligible, the member must be 60 years old or below and has a minimum of 24 monthly contributions, at least three of which are within the 12-month period immediately prior to the month of filing their application.

“In effect, the applicable interest rates for the affected members will only be six percent or seven percent, depending on their loanable amount. The loan must be solely used for house repair and improvement,” she said. “Our regular processing fee of up to P3,000 will be waived, and affected members are given one year from the date of issuance of the corresponding SSS Circular to file their applications. This should give them enough time to gather the needed documents.”

The third component of the SSS calamity relief package is the advanced release of three months’ worth of pensions for retirement, disability and death survivorship pensioners who reside in the calamity areas. Covered pensioners who will file their applications on or before August 31, 2013 will get in advance their pensions for the months of October, November and December 2013.

“Those filing their applications within the month of September will get their November and December 2013 and January 2014 pensions in advance. The deadline of application will be on September 30, 2013,” Ciriaco noted. “Affected pensioners only need to submit the duly accomplished application form, with a certification from their respective barangay chairman as proof of their residence in the declared calamity area.”

Meanwhile, the SSS also opened the SLERP and the reduced interest rates for house repair and improvement loans to members affected by Typhoon “Labuyo,” which struck parts of Luzon within the first half of August 2013. The NDRRMC-declared calamity areas due to “Labuyo” include Candelaria, Sta. Cruz and Masinloc municipalities in Zambales province; Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag municipalities in Aurora province; and Quirino province.

The terms and deadlines of SLERP and loan applications for members affected by “Labuyo” are the same as those under the calamity relief package for “Maring.” Application forms may be requested from SSS branches or downloaded from the SSS website at