SSS reports surge in OFW contributionsBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–Contributions from overseas-based Filipinos to the Social Security System went up 13 percent year-on-year to P1.07 billion amid the fund’s drive to ease the collection process and improve member services.
Emilio de Quiros Jr., SSS president and chief executive, said in a statement the agency’s efforts to be more “member-centric”—especially for OFWs—are providing these members easy access to their records and services despite being employed abroad.
Initiatives that the SSS undertook recently include the expansion of its Internet-based services, opening a 16-hour call center, uploading instructional videos on YouTube and starting an official SSS Facebook page.
OFW contributions as of May already represent about half of the P2.17 billion collected in 2011, which grew by 17 percent from the 2010 level and by double digits for the third straight year.
Currently, the SSS has over 738,000 OFW members, a number that the fund wants to raise through tie ups with key agencies that handle the deployment of migrant workers, such as the Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
De Quiros earlier said that SSS coverage must be ensured especially for OFWs, who are breadwinners but are usually excluded from social protection programs in their country of employment despite many of them work in high-risk environments.
He also said the agency plans to reach out to more OFWs through additional foreign offices and expansion of e-payment and online services.
Also, the SSS has launched a “member-get-member” (MGM) promo, through which it is offering “a trip back home” as well as cash prizes to active OFW-members who can nominate and get new members to sign up.
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