GSIS, SSS reinforce online defense amid rise in cybercrimes
The state-run pension funds Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Social Security System (SSS) have ramped up digitalization in 2021 not only to improve their front line services to members and pensioners but also to beef up defenses against cyberattacks.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Finance (DOF), which oversees the two social security institutions, said the digital transformation initiatives of the GSIS and the SSS amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic “ensure the unhampered delivery of their services despite the restrictions imposed during community quarantines.”
For instance, the GSIS has shifted to online filing of all loans and claims beginning 2020. It also allowed government retirees to do their annual pensioners information revalidation or “proof of life” online since last year so pensioners can stay at home while continuing to receive their benefits.
The SSS also mandated online filing of claims, notifications and reimbursements for various member, employer and pensioner benefits such as for funeral, maternity, retirement, sickness and unemployment.
Calamity and salary loans can now also be filed online. “This online filing of loan applications has proven beneficial for employees as their applications are processed in real-time,” the DOF quoted the SSS as saying.
These online services were on top of many other initiatives by both the GSIS and the SSS to digitalize their services and make them more accessible through online and mobile channels, the DOF said.
The GSIS and the SSS are also part of the government’s insurance cluster, which late last year came together to fortify their joint cyberdefense.
This cluster grouped agencies and state-run firms overseeing public and private insurance funds in the country, namely: the Bureau of the Treasury, the GSIS, the Insurance Commission, the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the SSS.
Together with the Land Bank of the Philippines, they agreed in November 2021 to establish a shared cyberdefense system.
—Ben O. de Vera
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