TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- As part of a joint-advocacy program, Social Security System (SSS) with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 02 encouraged members to be more aware of their SSS benefits as officials spoke to media on Tuesday, February 28, about the various SSS programs.
Tuguegarao Branch Head Janet Canillas said, aside from the commonly-known benefits such as retirement, maternity, funeral, and death benefits, members can also avail loan privileges such as salary loan, calamity loan, and educational assistance loan program for members who have children in college or technical schools.
Canillas said a member is also entitled to sickness benefits while paying contribution. If a member cannot recover from sickness, disability benefits can be claimed. Same benefits can be availed by those who have stopped paying, she added.
Aside from these benefits, Canillas revealed some benefits members can “look forward to soon.” These include the expanded maternity benefit and unemployment insurance.
Meanwhile, SSS North Luzon Division 02 Vice President-Officer-in-Charge Porfirio Balatico also reminded the public of other SSS benefits aside from pensions.
“Once a member always a member. So lifetime ito. Once na nairehistro na maging miyembro yung isang SSS member at nakapagbayad ng contribution, may kaakibat na ito na responsibilidad ang SSS,” Balatico said.
Balatico said members are guaranteed of at least a total of P32,000 benefit which is composed of P20,000 funeral benefit and P12,000 lump sum benefit.
Meanwhile, members who have contributed at least current nine months are entitled sickness benefit. Female members with at least nine months current contribution can file maternity benefit if needed.
Balatico also clarified that members who have 10 years or 120 months get exclusive retirement benefits.
He also said members who become disabled but have contributed for less than 36 months are entitled lump sum benefit. Members with disability who have contributed for 36 months and above are entitled for pension. In case of permanent or total disability, benefits will already cover member’s minor dependent children, Balatico shared.
Meanwhile, through employees’ compensation (EC), members who get work connected sickness or injury are qualified for double indemnity. Also, if a member’s cause of death is under work-related circumstance, the member’s family will get benefits enough to last for a “lifetime” via the EC.
Balatico also said members who have not contributed for more than 10 years and have reached 60 years of age or higher can still claim retirement benefits. This is why SSS still encourages government employees who have previously contributed to SSS to continue in order to claim retirement benefits later on.
The SSS vice president also said job order and contractual employees who have spent 10 years of service in local government units can now be covered by SSS.
“So nakikita natin na maski yung kokonti pa lang na naihuhulog ng miyembro sa SSS, yung ating liability sa kanila ay lumalaki na. Minsan nga kuwentahin mo kung magkano na yung naihulog niya sa SSS at kung magkano na yung benefit na na-claim niya sa SSS, mas marami na yung nake-claim niya na benefit kaysa naihuhuklog,” Balatico said.
Balatico also reminded members not to “waste” their contribution, adding that it is not an “expense” but rather “forced savings.”
“Ayaw natin na darating yung punto na maging retrogressive yung pag-iisip sa pagbibigay ng benepisyo. Kundi, we’ll instill in the members yung sense ng preparation for the future,” Balatico added.
Meanwhile, SSS is planning to put up more offices in the region. Balatico said they are going to open their legal cluster and division office in Cauayan City, Isabela.
Aparri SSS branch which will provide same services as that of Tuguegarao branch will also open soon. SSS will also have an office at Robinsons Place Tuguegarao.
Further, offices in Roxas, Isabela; Luna, Apayao; and Cabarroguis, Quirino are expected to open this year to make members more aware of their benefits, Balatico said. Northernforum.net