To facilitate social security transactions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) even when stationed abroad, the Social Security System (SSS) is offering them free personalized luggage tags that can be claimed at SSS foreign representative offices (FRO) or during outreach events spearheaded by SSS or local consular offices.
            SSS Senior Vice President and Head of the International Operations Division Judy Frances A. See said that these “SS# Tags” feature information printed on the card such as the member’s name, Social Security (SS) number, OFW coverage status and date of card issuance. For added convenience, the contact information of the issuing SSS FRO and OFW Contact Services Unit (CSU) are printed at the back of the card.
            “We have observed that many of our OFW-members have difficulty recalling their SS number which is important for all their SSS transactions such as contribution payments and availment of loans and benefits. It is fitting to provide luggage tags since it is a practical item for overseas travels. We also encased these in leather card holders as an added touch,” See said.
            Initially offered in 2014 only at the SSS branch located at the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) in Mandaluyong City for departing OFWs, the SS# Tags are now available at SSS FROs in Hong Kong; Brunei; Taipei (Taiwan); Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia); Singapore; Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar (Saudi Arabia); Kuwait; Doha (Qatar); Abu Dhabi and Dubai (United Arab Emirates); Bahrain; Muscat (Oman); Rome and Milan (Italy); London (United Kingdom); Toronto (Canada); and San Francisco (United States of America).
            “The SS# Tag is not intended to replace the UMID card. Thus, OFW-members can still apply for their own UMID (Unified Multi-Purpose Identification System) card at no cost, provided that they have not been issued a biometric SSS ID or UMID card in the past,” she emphasized.
            Over one million OFWs at present are registered in the pension fund as voluntary members. OFW-members with a monthly contribution of P1,760 — which is based on the reported income per month of at least P16,000 — are entitled to join the SSS Flexi-Fund Program to supplement their SSS savings. If an OFW is duly enrolled in the Flexi-Fund, this information would also be reflected at the front of the issued SS# Tag.