I applaud the efforts of the SSS to expand into this sector. I recently just saw a study from UP Professor Jorge Sibal which identified up to 49.6% in the Philippines is considered in the informal sector. Big market opportunities for the SSS if they are successful.
More workers in informal sector join SSS program
MANILA, Philippines—Workers engaged in the informal sector are joining the Social Security System’s microsavings program, with 18,600 of them across Luzon signing up as the pension fund stepped up the campaign.
Emilio de Quiros Jr., SSS president and chief executive, said in a statement that the “AlkanSSSya” program offered convenient remittance of contributions to encourage such workers to register or revive their membership.
De Quiros said organizations—including tricycle operators and drivers associations—based in the National Capital Region and the rest of Luzon were now covered under the program, which “ensures their access to affordable social protection.”
“We specifically designed the AlkanSSSya program to fit (informal sector workers’) way of life and to make saving for monthly SSS premiums as affordable as only P10 a day,” he said.
De Quiros explained that metal safety boxes with secure mini-compartments were installed in accessible locations to store AlkanSSSya savings before these were accounted for and picked up by an SSS collecting agent at the end of every month.
“One AlkanSSSya unit is assigned to every member who can drop in any amount daily until the required monthly contribution is completed,” he said. “AlkanSSSya members are required to save at least P312 a month to meet the P3,000 monthly salary credit.”
Aside from drivers and transport operators, the program also targets workers in the direct selling industry as well as market vendors.
“We have designated lanes in SSS branches for AlkanSSSya participants and closely coordinate with their officers to address their concerns regarding SSS coverage and benefits,” he explained.
De Quiros added that the SSS had tapped support from local governments such as that of Bangued in Abra, which passed a resolution that seeks SSS coverage of 4,200 tricycle drivers and operators registered in the Bangued Tricycle Franchise Regulatory Board.
He said the Bangued resolution cited the “constant occupational hazard of daily exposure to pollution, weather elements and vehicular accidents” as reasons for supporting the AlkanSSSya program.—Ronnel W. Domingo