The Social Security System (SSS) will launch next month two new programs—the flexible payment schedule and contribution subsidy provider program—to help ensure the social security protection of the informal economy workers, such as farmers and fishermen, and other individually paying members.
SSS president and chief executive officer Michael Regino said the payment schedule would provide a longer payment window, wherein contributions for any of the 12 applicable months may still be paid in the current month to avoid missing applicable months that may qualify such members 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,” he said.
“Another project 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, and voluntary members of the SSS,” he added.
The minimum period of subsidy under the CSPP is six consecutive calendar applicable months, he noted.
The results of a nationwide survey commissioned by the SSS that was conducted in the second semester of 2021 showed that there was a misconception among those in the informal economy and last-mile communities that SSS membership was only for those formally employed.
“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.