SSS taps cooperatives, microfinance of self-employed

OVER 50 cooperatives and associations nationwide joined the  Social Security System in its fourth Multi-Sectoral Forum that aims to promote SSS programs for self-employed workers in the informal sector.

SSS president and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said  the multi-sectoral event is an opportunity to look for potential partners in bringing social security protection to informal sector workers from far-flung areas.

“SSS conducts this kind of forum to further reach out to one of the most vulnerable sectors of our economy. We at SSS, believe that the informal sector, like any other private working Filipino, should be protected from the hazards of the sudden loss of income due to sickness, disability, death or retirement,” Ignacio said.

Aside from the organized groups, national government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission-Microfinance Institutions (SEC-MFI) and attached agencies under the Department of Agriculture like Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) were also represented.

“It is unfortunate that our farmers and fisherfolks, who feed 104.9 million Filipinos, are the most vulnerable workers in the economy due to the rapidly changing climate and various pests and diseases which greatly affect their productivity and income. That is why we also invited our colleagues from the government sector to let them know that SSS is here to help them in times of financial contingencies through SSS membership,” said SSS Executive Vice President for Branch Operations Sector Judy Frances A. See.

The  “SSS: Nakikiisa sa Pagsulong ng Social Protection Para sa mga Manggagawa sa Informal Sector” was attended by at least 100 representatives from 50 cooperatives, organizations, local government units (LGUs) and other government agencies.

Among the event’s highlights was the sharing of best practices of Simbayanan ni Maria Multi-Purpose Cooperative president and chief executive officer Angelita S. Ramos and SEDPI Development Finance Inc. president Mariel Vincent A. Rapisura as SSS-accredited Partner Agents (PAs) while  Cooperative Development Authority executive director Rey R. Elevazo provided directions during the discussions.