Tarlac City, Tarlac — The Social Security System (SSS) has collected a total of P2.4 billion in contributions from members within Central Luzon as of July 2014, up by 14 percent from the same period last year.

SSS Assistant Vice President for Central Luzon Division Vilma Agapito said the increase was due to employment growth in industries located in the economic areas of Clark, Subic, and cities of Angeles, San Fernando, Olongapo, Dagupan and Cabanatuan.

“Employees remain the biggest source of contributions with 60-percent share of the total,” she said.

The SSS has also noted a 13.99-percent increase in its collections from self-employed and voluntary members in the region following the series of SSS AlkanSSSya coverage drives for workers in the informal sector and job order and contractual employees of local government units.

Agapito said the AlkanSSSya program has so far attracted 17,601 individuals from 188 informal sector groups in Central Luzon.

“The figures show that a lot more workers now recognize the value of social security and saving for future contingencies. The growth also reflects the success of our activities to improve services delivery and widen our membership reach,” Agapito said.

The SSS AlkanSSSya program is a microsavings program, which offers convenient remittance of contributions to encourage members of the informal sector groups to register as self-employed members or revive their membership.

Large metal boxes with secure individual mini-compartments were installed in accessible locations to store daily AlkanSSSya savings of members. The savings are accounted for and picked up by an SSS collecting agent at the end of every month.

Agapito said the program was later adopted to cover JOs and contractual employees in LGUs who are non-GSIS members.

The SSS has more than two million members in Central Luzon, including about 1.3 million registered employees, 5,036 household employees, 452,003 self-employed, and 208,911 voluntary members

Agapito said these members are currently served by 19 branches and 13 service offices, of which nine are in malls.

She said the SSS has been establishing more SSS offices nationwide “to give members a more convenient location and faster way to benefit from SSS programs and services.”

For 2014, the SSS has opened two new branches in Central Luzon, located in Bocaue, Bulacan and San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and two service offices located in Robinsons Mall Malolos and BHF Family Plaza in Dagupan.