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Philippine Social Security System pushes online services

Image credit: pia.gov.ph

The Philippine Social Security System (SSS) has asked the transacting public to use its online channels such as the My.SSS Portal of the SSS website, SSS Mobile App, Text-SSS, and other electronic payment channels, after announcing that it is reducing its operational capacity to 50% in all its branches and offices located in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

To access the said online services in the My.SSS Portal and SSS Mobile App, members and employers must create a My.SSS account on the SSS website. SSS transactions that are required to be conducted online are the following:

  • application for Social Security numbers.
  • submission of Maternity Notification for self-employed, voluntary, and Overseas Filipino Worker members and employers.
  • enrolment of disbursement account using the Disbursement Account Enrolment Module (DAEM) for members and employers.
  • filing of Unemployment Benefit, Salary Loan and Calamity Loan for members.
  • filing of Funeral Benefit for SSS-member claimants.
  • filing of Retirement Benefit for members who are at least 65 years old (technical retirement), voluntary members, and employed members at least 60 to 64 years old (optional retirement); and
  • filing of Employment Report (R-1A), Sickness Notification, and Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Applications (initial claims) for employers.

Other online services such as inquiry on contribution and loan records, the status of benefit claims, and eligibility for benefits programmes are available through the My.SSS Portal, SSS Mobile App, and Text-SSS. Members may also use the My.SSS Portal and SSS Mobile App to view their membership information and addresses of SSS branches, generate Payment Reference Numbers (PRNs) for contributions, and view the list of PRN payments.

The decision to cut operational capacity covers the SSS Main Office, all branches in the National Capital Region (NCR), as well as provincial branches included in the country’s recent lockdown.

The agency stated the initiative is in line with Memorandum Circular No. 85 issued by the Office of the President of the Philippines and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 104. The state pension fund said this move aims to minimise the risk of exposure of the transacting public and its employees to COVID-19 as cases in the country surge over the past few days.

Accordingly, as reported by OpenGov Asia, since last year, the SSS is building up its information cache on how to use its online services through webinars and other social media content. SSS reiterated that with the continuous digitalisation of procedures, there is a need for stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the agency’s online facilities. They encourage them to join the webinars and monitor posts on social media.

The agency also reported that the pandemic, combined with their digitalisation efforts to mitigate the impact has resulted in a surge in SSS electronic transactions. The agency said that transactions through the SSS’s electronic channels accounted for 75% of the total in 2020, up from 35% in the previous year. Manual transactions, in turn, dropped from 65% of the total in 2019 to just 25% last year. The agency also registered 11.14 times jump in the download of its mobile app last year from the 3.12 million downloads as of end-December 2019.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the country have urged the SSS and other agencies to continue to invest more aggressively in boosting their computing capacities so that they can deliver superior services to the public over the digital space. Agencies should continue to improve and expand their transactions so that their respective members can conveniently do them online.

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