The Social Security System (SSS) has recognized 12 companies as national winners of the 2014 SSS Balikat ng Bayan Awards for their significant contribution to the attainment of SSS’ goals and mission. The 12 awardees received “Balikat ng Bayan” plaques, specially made by renowned Filipino sculptor Dr. Antonino Raymundo during the awarding ceremonies held at the SSS corporate headquarters on September 25.

Handing out the awards were Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando V. Tetangco, Jr who was the guest of honor and speaker together with Social Security Commission Chairman Juan B. Santos and SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio S. de Quiros Jr.

SSS Balikat ng Bayan Awards Committee Chairman and Chief Legal Counsel Voltaire P. Agas said the 2014 Balikat ng Bayan awardees consisted of two top employers, four best collection partners, three best paying partners and three best media partners.

“Every year, we mark our anniversary by honoring institutions that have helped us outstandingly in advancing the social security protection of Filipino workers. The term “Balikat ng Bayan” aptly represents the kind of partnership that we have between them, which benefits millions of SSS members and their beneficiaries,” Agas said.

This year’s SSS Top Employer distinction went to Cebu Mitsumi Inc., an electronic parts manufacturing company with over 13,000 employees, and PYP Agro Industries Inc., a Tarlac-based company engaged in ice and cold storage and water refilling and bottling station with 70 employees, the two emerged as winners in the large and small/medium accounts categories, respectively.

“Both companies exercised strict compliance with the SSS law, which requires for the compulsory coverage of employees, remittance of SSS contributions and loan payments, and accurate and timely submission of collection reports, among others.” Agas said.

For SSS’s collection partners for members’ contributions and loan payments, the winners were Bank of the Philippines Islands as Best Commercial Bank, RCBC Savings Bank as Best Thrift Bank, and One Network Bank Inc. as Best Rural Bank. The Best Collecting Partner for OFW remittances was awarded to Ventaja International Corporation.

Three depository banks were named as SSS Best Paying Partners for servicing the accounts of SSS pensioners through their wide network of local branches. The winners under the category were the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company as Best Commercial Bank, BPI Family Savings Bank as Best Thrift Bank, and One Network Bank, Inc. as Best Rural Bank.

“Aside from partner employers and banks, we also deemed it worthy to recognize the efforts of those media organizations that have significantly elevated the discourse about the importance of social security coverage, particularly the SSS program,” Agas said.

Manila Bulletin was selected as the SSS’ Best Media Partner for Print for the third time in a row. UNTV’s Good Morning Kuya emerged as the winner in the television category, while Imbestigador of GMA Super Radyo DYSS Cebu won in the radio category.

The SSS for the first time presented special citations to Balikat ng Bayan Hall of Famers, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, and iRemit, Inc. Radio program Usapang de Campanilla of DZMM was also cited for its consistent display of efforts in putting forward the objectives and messages of the SSS.

The SSS Balikat ng Bayan Awards was one of the highlights of the 57th anniversary celebrations of the SSS. To date, a total of 159 companies have been given the distinction since it was first endowed in 1995.