Aurora C. Ignacio

127 posts

SSS’ response to calamity victims of Typhoon Odette  

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.

One-time 60-day refund under the SSS Pension Loan Program

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.

Observing basic safety protocols in SSS branches  

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.

How to register and create your My.SSS account  

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.

Online filing of retirement benefit claim made easier through the My.SSS Portal

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.

Online SS Number Application

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.

Resumption of the Unified Multi-purpose Identification Card Application

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.

SSS’s recognitions in 2021

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.

Recognizing SSS’s digital innovations

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.

Apply now for the SSS Housing Loan Restructuring and Penalty Condonation Program  

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.  

Apply now for the SSS Contribution Condonation Penalty Program

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.

What you need to know about online filing of funeral benefit

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.    

DAEM: Fast and convenient way to receive your SSS benefits and loans

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.  

Resumption of the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners Program

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.  

Recognizing partner institutions through the SSS’ Balikat Ng Bayan Awards

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.

All about the SSS Pension Loan Program

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.

SSS@64 and the My.SSS registration  

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.  

The SSS educational assistance program

WE Filipinos have a deep regard for education. When I was young, my parents used to remind my siblings and me about the importance of education. They made it a point to emphasize to us that completing our education is the only bequest they can leave behind.

The SSS Mobile App version 4.0

Last June 30, 2021, my colleagues at the Social Security System and I conducted a virtual press conference to discuss the new look and feel of the SSS Mobile App—the latest development in our digital transformation journey.  

The perks of voluntary SSS membership

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a former colleague who recently retired from the company where we previously worked together. After talking about developments in our personal lives, she asked me if she can continue paying her Social Security System (SSS) contributions voluntarily since she just turned 58 and she’s not yet qualified to avail herself of the Retirement Benefit Program.  

SSS coverage for overseas Filipino workers  

SSS started its coverage for OFWs in 1995, initially for voluntary membership. However, effective March 2019, SSS coverage is now compulsory for all sea- and land-based OFWs, provided they are not yet over 60 years of age, as defined under Republic Act (RA) 8042, also known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, and its 2010 amendment, provided under RA 10022.

Retirement benefit claim application made easier

Every working Filipino’s dream is to retire and relax after 20 to 30 years of demanding work. Those who have reached the peak of their careers and are already financially stable often find themselves talking about retirement. The children have all grown up and finished with their studies. Others are already enjoying time playing with grandchildren and telling them stories of places and events before the pandemic.

File your Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Applications online

I have friends from the banking sector who are also owners of businesses as single proprietors, partnerships, or corporations. Just recently, we scheduled a virtual meeting to keep ourselves posted with our personal and business affairs. I was touched when one of them commended SSS’s efforts in launching the online filing of the Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Applications (SBRA) through the My.SSS portal. My friend said this shortened some of the administrative processes her daughter is currently managing as head of the Human Resource Department.

How to acquire foreclosed SSS properties

I was recently invited to be a principal sponsor to the wedding of the son of one of my long-time friends. As the wedding will be held during this time of quarantine lockdowns and health protocols, I was informed that it will be an online wedding and that further details about the attendance of the principal sponsors will be relayed to me soon. As we discussed the couple’s plans for their future—including where they will be settling down—she mentioned that they have been discussing about purchasing a foreclosed home instead as they save up for their ultimate dream home.

Maternity benefit filing made easier

Millions all over the world celebrated Mother’s Day last Sunday. It is a day when families get together to honor the mothers in their lives. While we should be thankful for our mothers every day, Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show our moms how much we love and appreciate them.

SSS honors the Filipino workers  

For some people, the first day of May is another day off for rest and relaxation. But for many, Labor Day is just another busy day as workers report for work, especially those who are paid on a daily basis.

SSS and our unsung heroes

“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

SSS and our unsung heroes

“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

SSS maternity benefit for nurturing women

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform.”  This quote from author Diane Mariechild epitomizes what a woman truly is—one who takes care of, feeds, helps develop, and protects someone or something. 

SSS online services: Fast, simple and easy transactions

The Social Security System (SSS) recently held its first virtual press briefing for the year to discuss our digitalization services. Over 54 members of various news organizations not only from the National Capital Region (NCR) but also media personalities from other provinces and localities participated.

SSS members and pensioners: Be wary of online fixers

Living in the so-called new normal altered the way we learn, socialize, and work as the current health and safety protocols have forced us to limit physical and social interaction. These unprecedented changes also caused a shift in the dynamics of branch operations at the Social Security System (SSS).

Central Business Portal: Newest gateway to SSS online services

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to catch up with my former colleagues. It was nice to learn that their sons and daughters are planning to start their businesses anytime soon. I admire our young bloods’ courage that, despite the unpredictable economic situation, they are still willing to take risks and fulfill their dreams. Parents, as well as extended family members, will always be on hand to support them in their new ventures.

SSS services at your fingertips

Two years ago, I was one of the principal sponsors at the wedding of a daughter of a good friend. After years of trying for a child with her husband, my goddaughter finally saw those two red lines in the pregnancy test. Given the current pandemic, she reached out to me, worried about how she will notify the Social Security System (SSS) of her pregnancy without being exposed to Covid-19.

Our lifetime commitment

Love is a very powerful word, which is universal in concept. For many, it may either be a life-changing moment. Looking at the people around us, for a mother, it is her love for her child; for a husband, it is his love for his wife; for a soldier, it is his love for his country; and for priests and nuns, it is their love for God. Love may take on many forms, but whatever it may be, it gives people happiness and brings bright smiles on their faces.

SSS appeals for impartial decision

Since the Social Security System (SSS) announced late last year the implementation of a 1-percent increase in contribution rate for 2021, we have received calls for its postponement from various groups—particularly from the labor and employers sectors—as the country is still facing the health and economic crises brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.    

WISP: The SSS Provident Fund Program

Finally, it’s the third working day of the year and just like everybody else from the working population, I am back to work. Indeed, the recent holiday has been a short and relaxing respite from last year’s workload and this year, 2021, is another year to start anew. Time to revisit our personal and family goals and for the Social Security System (SSS), which I represent, to adopt better and more beneficial programs for our members and pensioners alike.

SSS in 2021: Looking forward to a better year ahead

It’s exactly three days before we welcome 2021! The year 2020 was indeed a very challenging and tough ride for every Filipino. Yes, we started the year with a clear vision and goals and yet, we experienced a drastic start with the Taal Volcano eruption in January, followed by the spread of African Swine Fever in February, and the major outbreak of the coronavirus disease in March, which was followed by a series of enhanced community quarantine until June. In the last quarter of this year, we have been struck by a series of destructive natural calamities in Luzon provinces and Metro Manila brought by Typhoons Rolly, Quinta and Ulysses. By December, a string of hope was unveiled with the discovery of a Covid vaccine and followed by its mass distribution in some European countries.

SSS in the midst of calamities

A few weeks ago, a series of strong typhoons hit our country, disrupting the lives of many Filipinos. Who will forget the devastation brought about by Typhoons Rolly, Quinta and Ulysses? It was a very traumatic experience for those affected by these natural calamities.  

Employer’s registration with SSS

Being in the banking industry for several years, I have met and developed personal and business relationships with clients who are either owners of big and small-scale businesses or those who are either partners or incorporators of such firms. 

New SSS pension schedule

For an ordinary senior citizen who is already retired from private or government service, receiving the monthly pension is what one always looks forward to, regardless of how much the amount because, finally, it is tax-free and with no other deductions. 

SSS legal beneficiaries

Before the pandemic, especially during weekends, I used to meet up with some good friends from the insurance industry in a café. While enjoying our brewed coffee, we used to have nice and lively conversations about life and work.

SSS: Helping families cope with death

According to the biblical verse in Ecclesiastes, “for everything there is a season.” True enough, there is a season of joy, sadness, triumph and defeat. The loss of a loved one is an emotional toll wherein grief can be so overwhelming for those who were left behind. Nothing hurts more than losing a loved one.

SSS services at your fingertips through Text-SSS facility

IN 2019, some 70.7 million Filipinos have access to the Internet through their mobile phones and SMS or text messaging exploded, which made our country the “Text Capital of the World.” By 2025, Filipino users are expected to reach 90 million given the current trend and situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Digitalizing the SSS Pension Loan Program

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IN a recent conversation with some of my senior citizen colleagues, they were talking about the government’s guidelines for restricting those 60 years old and above to go out of their respective homes amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.

uSSSap Tayo, the SSS Customer Relationship Management System

Has anyone of you experienced the strain of following up on a particular concern with an organization or business establishment, say, the status of your telephone or Internet installation, requesting for a copy of your credit card monthly billing statement, or asking for replacement of goods or items that you purchased?

Saving for your retirement

Imagine yourself strolling by the beach, watching the sun rise upon waking up from a relaxed and peaceful slumber. Then you take your sweet time drinking your favorite coffee. No need to hurry to take a bath, dress up and drive to work because you are now retired and free from the hassles of the corporate jungle you used to live for the last 20 or 40 years of your life…ahh, retirement! No stress at all!

Understanding the SSS fund cycle

For 63 years, the Social Security System (SSS) has been continuously providing meaningful social security protection to its members and their families. This wouldn’t have been possible if its fund management is not at par with international standards, norms, and best practices as followed by our Asian social security counterparts.

SSS @ 63: Responding to the times through ExpreSSS  

September 1, 2020 marks the start of the “ber” months, signaling the forthcoming Christmas season that we always look forward to every year. The date becomes more significant because we also commemorated the 63rd founding anniversary of the Social Security System (SSS). This year’s theme is “SSS@63: Responding to the Times through ExpreSSS.” 

SSS funeral benefit program’s checkless disbursement  

One Sunday morning, I came across an online Christian service where the pastor said, “What do you consider to be the saddest and lowest point in your life?” As I was watching and reading all the comments pouring in, I was struck by the one sent by an old woman that said, “When my husband of 49 years died, I felt I died with him.”  

SSS Foreign Representative Offices: Servicing OFWs worldwide

IT is a common perception among Filipinos that overseas employment is the best route out of poverty because one can earn more money, which enables one to save or buy properties. On top of this, overseas workers are in a better position to provide quality education to their children. Since the 1970s, we have witnessed the rising number of Filipinos seeking overseas jobs, whether professionals or skilled workers. They are taking their chances to work abroad to give their families a better life.

SSS bilateral agreements: Social security coverage for overseas Filipinos

IN the last 50 years, labor migration has been a part of the Filipino culture where many of our citizens leave the country in search of greener pastures. Indeed, Filipinos are highly recognized for their skills and dedication to their jobs; thus, many foreign employers want to employ them globally. Wherever you go, especially in highly developed countries, you would see them working in the professional field or either employed in various white- and blue-collar jobs. 

My.SSS portal and the online Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Application

One of the challenges being faced by the Philippine government during these difficult times is the dynamic landscape of the digital economy. Various efforts and reforms in policies are all directed toward optimizing the benefits of information, communications and technology (ICT) solutions to improve public service delivery. The E-Government Master Plan (EGMP), which was launched in 2013, aims to harmonize and integrate the ICT efforts of the government. Generally, the objective is to automate the processes and to provide online services to the citizens and businesses.

The Option to Sell Shares Program of SSS

Investing in the stock market requires a combination of reliable information and precision timing. When the stocks are low, you buy. When the stocks are high, you sell. And there are a lot of other factors that come to play in between. But, what if we miss out on the opportunity to sell and we end up with debt?

SSS and ECC: Providing protection to the ordinary Filipino worker

While businesses and companies are starting to open and the lockdown guidelines are easing up, employees are now coming out of their homes to report back to work. This exposes the members of the work force to various dangerous factors such as inhaling polluted air, road accidents, and most especially, contracting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). When an employee meets an accident, this involves physical, emotional, and psychological trauma, as well as financial burden. Let’s face it: people who had an accident know the expense the
incident entails.

SSS: Extending social security protection to job order and contractual government employees

The first half of 2020 has ended but the whole world continues its battle against the invisible enemy. Nothing is stable during Covid-19 crisis as several businesses in the private sector have ceased operations, resulting in thousands of displaced workers. Public utility vehicle operators, drivers, self-employed individuals and repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) also suffer the same fate, and they are pleading for help from the national government. Worst, this global health crisis has caused suffering and death.

SSS, building strong partnerships with cooperatives and MFIs

For the past six decades, the Social Security System (SSS) has been keen in promoting adequate safety nets for all working Filipinos. In fact, our mandate transcends the spectrum of social status or working class—a private sector employee, self-employed businessman or professional, overseas Filipino worker (OFWs), household helper, non-working spouse, as well as worker in the informal sector could be all SSS members.

SSS Educational Assistance Loan Program: Giving students a powerful weapon to change the world

With the Covid-19 pandemic taking over our daily lives as we stay at home to avoid the virus, schools all throughout the Philippines were forced to close their classrooms to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among our children and their teachers. This has affected their school-based learning routine, as students cannot go to school, listen to their teachers, and interact with their classmates.

The power of social media and the SSS Facebook page

Two weeks ago, President Duterte announced that the National Capital Region (NCR); Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A; provinces of Albay, Pangasinan, and the city of Davao were already placed under general community quarantine (GCQ). Meanwhile, selected regions were still under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). Regardless of the level of restrictions being imposed in different regions of the country, the fact remains that Covid-19 cases continue to spread and the public should take the necessary precautions to combat this “invisible killer.”

SSS extends benefit to members until death

During this pandemic, many lives were lost and some of them could possibly be SSS members. However, with limited SSS operations in Luzon and the National Capital Region (NCR), filing for death and funeral benefit claims may take a backseat for now until we are able find a cure to the virus. We want to be part of the solution, thus, we do not encourage our members to flock to our offices, to expose themselves, and thereby become easy targets of this deadly virus.

The value of SSS membership

For many reasons, the year 2020, so far, has not been easy for us Filipinos. To begin with, we had to surmount the challenges posed by the violent and catastrophic eruption of Taal Volcano, and not long after, we had to deal with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

SSS logo

SSS, moving toward checkless benefit disbursements

Back in 2015, SSS initiated a program called Sickness and Maternity Benefits Payment-thru-the-Bank Program (SMB-PB) to ease the benefit disbursement process and ensure timely receipt of SSS benefits, which are now being disbursed through members’ chosen SSS-accredited partner banks. This program is mandatory to all members, whether they are self-employed, voluntary or overseas Filipino worker (OFW) whose approved amount of benefit is more than P1,000 and address is within 30 kilometers to the nearest SSS-accredited banks.  

SSS non-working spouse coverage: A salute to our household queens

The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t stop us celebrating Mother’s Day last Sunday. Each one of us designed our own gimmick of giving special tribute to the most important woman in our lives—our mother. To show our love and appreciation, we prepared her favorite dish, freed her from all household chores for the day, gathered the whole family to watch her favorite K-Drama series, bought her favorite dessert or flowers (thanks to our Grab, foodpanda and Lalamove frontliners), spent long chats with her, viewed some photo slideshow of our bonding moments together, or simply gave her a sweet kiss and hug.

SSS: Every working Filipino’s protection from various contingencies

IN December 2019, a pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan was first reported to the World Health Organization country office in China. Then the WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020. On February 11, 2020, a name for the new coronavirus disease was announced: Covid-19. On March 11, the WHO
characterized Covid-19 as a global pandemic affecting more than 200 countries.

SSS and PayMaya partnership: A fast and convenient way to pay your contributions

Mobile phones used to be just another form of communication tool. Over the years, however, we have witnessed their transformation from a communication device into a one-stop shop. For one, in the last 10 years, we saw the enormous growth of mobile-based payment options using smartphones. With our smartphones, we can now pay electric bills, credit-card bills, and insurance, among others.

No worries: SSS contribution payment deadlines extended

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted our everyday lives. It has restricted our movements and daily routine like going to work and traveling like we usually do. Most of us, including our employers and SSS members, are currently confined in the corners of our homes after the national government imposed an enhanced community quarantine in different parts of the country to curb the spread of Covid-19. According to a recent report in The Economist, about 2.5 billion people around the world are put on some sort of lockdown due to this pandemic crisis.

SSS pensioners: Stay home, no need for Acop

We’ve heard it countless times in the news—experts claiming that one’s risk of severe illness and death increases with age. They say older people are much more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) than the rest of the population.