The Social Security System (SSS) has signed agreements with three national government agencies (NGA) for the coverage of 310 workers hired as job order (JO) or contractual workers of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
SSS Professionals Sector Department Manager Noel L. Coyupan said that the signed SSS agreements formalize the inclusion of these JO and contractual workers under the KaltaSSS-Collect Program, which ensures their active SSS membership and eligibility for SSS benefits and loan privileges. JO and contractual workers are not covered by the social protection program for public sector employees.
“Workers hired on a job order or contractual basis are more vulnerable in the face of financial contingencies, as they are often excluded from benefit packages and other privileges that regular employees receive. With these agreements, they can now rely on SSS for financial assistance,” he said.
The covered JO and contractual workers occupy a wide range of positions such as electronics and communications equipment technicians, science and engineering aides, science research specialists and assistants, computer programmers and drivers from PAG-ASA, and emergency employees, science research specialists, project and research assistants, and information officers from PHIVOLCS.
Meanwhile, the covered JO and contractual workers from EMB include utility workers, encoders, bookkeepers, records aides, administrative officers, drivers, engineers, computer operators, mechanics, technical staff and laboratory aides, as well as security guards who are not under a service provider.
The KaltaSSS-Collect Program, which was formerly known as the e-AlkanSSSya Program, offers an automated salary deduction scheme from the monthly contribution and loan payments of the covered JO and contractual workers, who are covered as self-employed members.
“Under the agreements, these agencies assume the responsibility of making sure the workers are duly registered with the SSS, and that their payments are collected and remitted to SSS every month. Without such agreements, self-employed members usually handle these on their own,” Coyupan explained.
The agreements also help facilitate the delivery of SSS services to the covered workers such as on-site verification of contributions, loans, benefits and other SSS records; on-site screening and data capture for the Unified Multi-purpose Identification System or UMID; and response to various SSS queries.
“The SSS branch nearest to the agency, which serves as the supervising SSS branch, is primarily tasked with carrying out the terms of the agreement, including the delivery of SSS services,” Coyupan said.
By the end of 2015, a total of 717 memoranda of agreements (MOA) nationwide have been signed by SSS with various state-run institutions, including 154 agencies and 563 local government units (LGUs). Over 76,000 JO and contractual workers are covered so far, while collections have reached P284 million.
“The MOAs signed with NGAs become the principal agreement which shall govern their branch, field, division, provincial and regional offices. In some instances, our division or branch office may sign a MOA with the NGA’s offices at the local levels to further strengthen their relationship with SSS,” he said.
Localized MOAs may be forged with the NGA’s field, regional or provincial offices to abide by local administrative requirements, or to effectively cover local units with operational autonomy such as water districts, medical centers, state universities and colleges, volunteer groups and day care centers.
Government agencies interested in similar coverage agreements can visit the SSS Professionals Sector Department at the Lower Ground Floor of the SSS main office in Diliman, Quezon City, or contact 435-9893 or 920-6401 local 5436, 5754, 6355 and 6452 to 54.