Social Security System (SSS) President and CEO Michael G. Regino announced that two new programs are set to be launched in July to help ensure the social security protection of the informal economy workers and other individually-paying members.
The new programs are the Flexible Payment Schedule program and the Contribution Subsidy Provider Program (CSPP).
The planned payment schedule for the said types of workers will provide a longer payment window for them, where contributions for any of the last 12 applicable months may still be paid in the current month, so they can avoid missing applicable months that may qualify them for SSS benefits and loans.
“Considering that crops and fishery products have their harvest seasons, we are looking to implement a more workable payment schedule for farmers, fishermen, and other self-employed persons in the informal economy. We recognize the unique situation of our informal economy workers and we are coming up with the appropriate payment program to make SSS more inclusive to as many fellow Filipinos.” Regino said.
He added: “Another program is the Contribution Subsidy Provider Program (CSPP), wherein the SSS may enter into a partnership arrangement with potential contribution subsidy providers among private and government entities who will pay contributions on behalf of selected self-employed workers, land-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and voluntary members of the SSS.”
The minimum period of subsidy under the CSPP is six consecutive calendar applicable months.
The results of a nationwide survey commissioned by the SSS that was conducted in the second semester of 2021 showed that there is a misconception among those in the informal economy and last-mile communities that SSS membership is only for those formally employed.
Also, some of the challenges for members identified in the survey are the sustainability and payment of correct contributions, which are more likely for those in the informal economy.
“Filipino workers need social security institutions such as the SSS to provide them and their families with a layer of protection against the hazards of disability, sickness, maternity, old age, death, and other contingencies resulting in loss of income. We hope that through these two programs, we may be able to extend our benefit and loan programs to those in the informal economy, gig economies, and last-mile communities,” Regino said.
More information on these two programs will be available soon at www.sss.gov.ph and other SSS social media channels.