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More digital features for Philippine Social Security System platform

Image credit: newsbytes.ph

The Philippine Social Security System (SSS) adds more features to its online services portfolio as it steps up efforts to digitalise member and employer transactions.

SSS President and CEO said the initiative aims to address the need to bring SSS services within reach of its members, pensioners, covered employers, and the public because of social distancing and health requirements imposed by the government to stop the spread of the COVID-19.  For the past years, the agency has been gradually shifting its stakeholders’ mode of transactions from face-to-face to online. The pandemic motivated them to track their digital transformation initiatives faster, not only to provide stakeholders with more convenient and more efficient means of transactions but also to ensure their safety.

Services in the My.SSS Portal now includes online applications for Calamity Loan, Pension Loan, Retirement Benefit (subject to qualifying conditions for online filing), Unemployment Benefit, and Funeral Claim; submission of Requests for Member Data Change for simple corrections for members; and submission of Sickness Benefit Reimbursement Application for employers.

The SSS has also introduced both members and employers to the Real-Time Processing of Loans Payment Reference Number (RTPL-PRN) facility, Benefit Re-disbursement Module, and improved Disbursement Account Enrolment Module (DAEM) with uploading of proof of account, previously known as the Bank Enrolment Module.

Moreover, the SSS enhanced the online SS Number Application facility and has provided members with access to the Remittance Transfer Company/Cash Pay-out Outlet (RTC/CPO) Reference Number Inquiry.

Aside from the new and improved online services, members also have access to other virtual services, including viewing their contribution and loan records; and inquiring on the status of their benefits claims and eligibility for benefits programmes, among others. These may be accessed using the My.SSS Portal as well as the SSS Mobile App, Text-SSS, and Self-Service Express Terminals.

By using the My.SSS Portal, members can also make an appointment with an SSS branch, send a request for SSS records, enrol in the Personal Equity and Savings Option (PESO) Fund or Flexi-fund, use a simulated retirement calculator, and view details of their Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) Card or SSS ID, as well as change their account password. With the SSS Mobile App, they can also pay contributions using a third-party e-payment provider or a partner bank.

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. For more in-depth discussions on these services, companies and organisations may request SSS to conduct free online seminars for employees and members. SSS reiterated that with the continuous digitalisation of procedures, there is a need for stakeholders to familiarise themselves on how to use the agency’s online facilities. They encourage them to join the webinars and monitor posts on social media.

The agency 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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