The Social Security System (SSS) collected a total of P1.07 billion in contributions of overseas Filipino workers during the first five months of this year, up by 13 percent from its P944.75 million collection for the same period in 2011.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. noted that key to the agency’s coverage and collection drive in the OFW sector is providing overseas-based members easy access to their membership records and SSS services despite being employed abroad.

“Recent SSS initiatives such as enhancing our range of website services, opening a 16-hour SSS call center, uploading instructional YouTube videos and starting an official SSS Facebook page to address member concerns were all created with OFWs in mind,” he said.

Members can check their contributions, loans and benefits at the SSS website (www.sss.gov.ph) or via the SSS call center (920-6446 to 55). They can also view SSS videos or contact SSS by looking up “Philippine Social Security System” at Facebook and YouTube.

The SSS also bared the list of winners under its Member-Get-Member (MGM) promo, which serves as its banner program this year for promoting active SSS membership of OFWs. The OFW sector is among the most vulnerable labor groups in terms of social security protection as OFWs are often not covered by the social security institutions of their host countries.

The state-run institution has a total of 45 winners from its monthly MGM raffle draws since January 2012. The winners will receive a cash prize of P10,000 each, which they can claim at the SSS main office in Quezon City or through their designated bank account.

De Quiros said nine MGM raffle winners are drawn every month for January to June 2012. The latest batch of winners include Aileen Barbosa and Divina Pagaduan, who are both from Hong Kong; and Vitaliana Hara Hernando from Singapore.

MGM winners from the Middle East were Auricel Tolentino and Pensees Dawny Figueroa from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Felipa Sanchez from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“We currently have four repeat winners who have shown impressive initiative in encouraging their fellow OFWs to become active SSS members. Two of them, Ms. Barbosa and Mr. Figueroa, won thrice so far because of their dozens of successful referrals,” de Quiros said.

Rounding up the list of May winners from Europe and the rest of the world are Demetrio Joven from Milan, Italy; Catalina Dizon and Karen Perpetua Blas, who are both based in London, United Kingdom.

The OFW with the highest number of referred nominees will receive a cash prize of P50,000 and a plaque of appreciation during the MGM grand raffle draw in September 2012. The Grand Prize is a trip back to the Philippines and a vacation package for two in Boracay Island.