“Diligence in your daily work to earn a living is the true expression of love and affection for yourself, for your wife, for your child, for your brother, and for your countryman.”—Andres Bonifacio
Two days from now we will be commemorating “Araw ng Kagitingan” or the Day of Valor, in remembrance of the Fall of Bataan during World War II when the Japanese soldiers forced 76,000 captured Allied forces (Filipinos and Americans) to march about 120 kilometers to prison camps, where some of our soldiers are left to die along the way.
We are currently experiencing another war where our main enemy remains unseen but has claimed millions of lives of people worldwide. Yes, we have passed the one-year mark and yet the Covid-19 cases are still increasing in every country. Whenever I turn on the radio or TV for the news, I hear doctors reminding everybody to stay home and strictly observe health and safety protocols.
But daily life continues despite the pandemic. I see health-care workers, especially doctors and nurses, taking time away from their families to take care of their patients. I also get to meet employees of retail and food establishments walking and biking to their workplaces; street sweepers making sure that public areas remain clean; janitorial staff meticulously cleaning and sanitizing offices; as well as garbage collectors regularly going house to house and picking up trash within the neighborhood.
I have also heard stories of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) opting to stay overseas just to be able to send money to their families in the Philippines. We all have to make our own sacrifice for this fight that all of us are trying to win.
In situations like these, people—specifically those in the private sector—need to make sure that they have an active SSS membership. Being a contributing member of the pension fund assures you benefits in times of contingencies such as sickness, maternity, disability, unemployment, retirement, funeral and death.
Aside from the benefits that SSS offers, members are also entitled to various loan privileges such as Salary, Calamity, Educational Assistance, among others. For employed workers, they have an added protection from the Employees’ Compensation Commission where they can also get paid for work-related contingencies such as sickness, disability and death.
Whether you are an employed, self-employed, voluntary or OFW member, you are entitled to all of these since social security is a universal right of every working individual.
Currently, SSS has a membership base of 38.8 million members, of whom 16.2 million are paying members from January to December 2020 (further broken down, there are 12.4 million employed members, 2.5 million voluntary members and 0.8 million self-employed members, while 0.5 million are OFW members).
Nowadays, becoming an SSS member is easy and convenient. You can apply for an SS number online through our web site (www.sss.gov.ph). Moreover, for members who have their own My.SSS account, they can access their SS records anytime and anywhere through our web site or the SSS Mobile App, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, App Store, or Huawei AppGallery.
Making sure that you and your family have a pool of financial resources in these difficult times is, in itself, a heroic act. And we at SSS commend our members and pensioners that they were able to provide and take care of their families whatever the circumstances are through our various programs and services.
Just like what Andres Bonifacio wrote in his Decalogue of the Duties of the Sons of the People, earning a living and providing for yourself, your wife, and your family in general is indeed a true expression of love and a heroic act.
Saludo kami sa inyo, mga bayaning Pilipino!
Aurora C. Ignacio is SSS president and chief executive officer.
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