The 2020 World Risk Index concludes that the Philippines ranked 9th as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Situated along the typhoon belt, the Philippines is visited by an average of 20 typhoons every year. Situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the country also regularly experience earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, among others.
IN September 2018, the Social Security System started offering the Pension Loan Program to provide immediate financial assistance to qualified SSS retirement pensioners through a low interest rate loan. We are aware that in the previous years, most of them sought personal loans from various private lending companies that charge higher interest rates with pawned collaterals like their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards. This is where SSS comes in when it finally opened the PLP to all its retirement pensioners.
IN December 2021, we saw the steady decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country and we started to become hopeful that the coming year 2022 would bring us all a semblance of normalcy. Vaccinated and boostered, some of us may have already made decisions to push through with our travels plans, which were put on hold due to the pandemic and the lockdowns.
For the past two years, we have embraced the new norm of conducting personal and business transactions online. Who would have thought that shopping, paying bills, getting services, ordering food and anything you can think of is now being done online. It’s much simpler, faster, and more convenient as you can do it anytime and anywhere without leaving the safety and comfort of your home. You just need to have a stable Internet connection to do all of these things.
Retirement is one of the stages in life that working people always look forward to, especially by those who have spent their productive years in their respective professions. This is the time when one is no longer bound to wake up early, travel to work, and spend eight hours in the office. With more free time on their schedule, some retirees pursue activities that they have withheld for some time. Some love to travel to their favorite places of interests, while some just wanted a peaceful and relaxing time with their loved ones. This is life’s rewards when you can finally enjoy the fruits of your labor after years of hard work.
Getting a Social Security (SS) Number is one of the most important requirements in applying for a job especially for those who will be employed in private corporations. When you transfer to a new workplace, employers also ask for your SS number as one of the conditions for employment for SSS membership and coverage.
How fast time flies as 2021 is almost over. A few days from now, we will be welcoming another year—2022! It’s time to set new goals and plans for the New Year, which may probably include a change in employment, business ventures, financial investments, and travel opportunities. But whatever lies ahead, or whatever choices we make for our personal or professional improvement, we are full of hope that the coming year is going to be better.
AS the end of year 2021 fast approaches, I can’t help but look back at my own journey as the President and Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) of the Social Security System (SSS). I am proud of the SSS officials and employees who are working tirelessly to make SSS a notable institution as it is. Perhaps this is one of the fulfilling chapters in my corporate journey as it proved to be inspiring and challenging at the same time.
Who would have imagined that we will reach this stage when almost all transactions are now being done online and digital? I remember in the 1990s when fax machines were the primary office equipment of every organization in sending out communication to their respective clients; the non-stop ringing of beepers whenever there is an important message received, and the heavy, chargeable cellular phones carried by business executives in their daily official transactions. Yes, those were the early days of communication technology. It is good to look back and recall how we survived using those gadgets.
When contingencies and emergencies arise, it is always good to have extra cash to tide you over. Of course, there are times when what you have is not enough and you need to procure additional funds to fulfill some important financial obligations. This is the time when SSS loans come in handy.
Owning a house is one of the ultimate dreams of every working Filipino and one of the biggest investments one can have because its value increases over time. Buying your own house is a great advantage as it gives you a feeling of security, safety and belongingness, and it also gives you the freedom to create your own living space and decorate it accordingly. As a solid property, it can also serve as your legacy, which you can bequeath to your children.
For this four-part series on the Social Security System’s (SSS) Pandemic Relief Restructuring Programs (PRRPs), I will continue to share various programs that we will be implementing to help our employers and members cope with financial difficulties brought about by the pandemic.
The pandemic has caused major changes in our economic landscape resulting to reduction in working hours, massive job losses and business closures. It was a major challenge for the employers as they struggled to keep their business afloat with fewer customers and shorter operating hours while trying to stay compliant to government regulations for the welfare of their families and their employees.
IF you have a social-media account like Facebook, you probably noticed that it has somewhat become an online obituary. With the pandemic that we are facing today, it is sad to know that many people have succumbed to the virus or other health-related circumstances. Talks of death were once topics that no one would openly discuss as it brings forth an uncomfortable and foreboding feeling. But times have changed, and now, more people are freely talking about it, including what happens after the funeral of a loved one.
Back in the 1980s, 1990s and beyond 2000, employees’ payroll, benefits and loans were paid out in the form cash or checks. It was a tedious process and one must wait for some time to receive the check considering the registered mail has to go through different channels as well as several postal branches. Once received, the recipient has to go to the bank and wait in queue just to have it deposited or encashed.
Recently, I received some feedback from our members about the timeliness of the receipt of their benefits and how grateful they were that they can receive social security benefits during these challenging times. I am happy that we are exceeding our members’ and pensioners’ expectations on how their years of contributions are working for them. As much as it is our responsibility to provide social security protection, it is also our job to make sure that our benefits are reaching the rightful beneficiaries. We implemented procedures to properly establish their respective identities, and we always make sure the recipients have accurate and updated records in our system for validation and reference purposes.
The culminating activity of SSS’ 64th Anniversary was the Balikat ng Bayan Awarding Ceremonies, which was held last September 30 via our official Facebook page. Through this virtual activity, we bestowed recognitions to our institutional partners in providing social security protection to our valued members, employers, pensioners, and other stakeholders.
There are times when workers encounter accidents or become totally sick, leading to their disability and making them unable to go about their normal lives. Sometimes, even their savings are not enough to cover the expenses not just for the hospitalization but also for things they need on their road to recovery and a new life.
Last week we celebrated Grandparents’ Day by holding an online forum with the theme “Da BeSSS ang Lolo’t Lola ko” via our Facebook page. The Grandparents’ Day is a tribute to all our grandparents for being our pillars and models in cultivating good values for all grandchildren. Here at SSS, we also gave importance to their contribution to society by conducting a simple yet engaging virtual event, which was fun and informative.
Today, September 1, 2021, marks the 64th Anniversary of the Social Security System (SSS). This year’s theme, “Handog sa Miyembro, Serbisyong Makabago,” aptly honors its 40.9 million members and 2.9 million pensioners who have been part of the SSS’ journey towards social security protection.
Losing a job unexpectedly can be one of life’s greatest challenges. It takes you out of your comfort zone as you will no longer have a steady income to provide for your family’s basic needs, not to mention the monthly bills that you still have to pay for like electricity, water, telephone, Internet, etc.