Monthly contributions from Social Security System (SSS) members amounted to P38.95 billion from January to May this year, reflecting a nine percent jump from the agency’s P35.86 billion collection over the same period in 2011.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said private sector employees contributed P33.72 billion, or P2.64 billion more than last year’s five-month total of P31.08 billion. Nearly seven out of every ten SSS members are employees.

“The nine-percent increase in collections from employees was complemented by double-digit jumps in remitted premiums from other sectors such as household helpers, voluntary members and overseas Filipino workers,” he said.

Contributions, which are considered the lifeblood of the 54-year-old pension fund, serves as a determining factor in members’ availment of benefits and loans. Members with bigger and more contributions are entitled to higher benefits and greater loanable amounts.

De Quiros also noted that OFW collections for the five-month period reached P1.07 billion, up by 14 percent from the P939.90 million total for January to May 2011. Contributions from household helpers totaled P92.24 million, which was 15 percent higher than P80.10 million last year.

The institution also collected P1.92 billion from voluntary members, reflecting an 11 percent increase from the previous year, while contributions from self-employed workers rose six percent for a five-month total of P2.14 billion.

“Contributions from farmers and fisherfolk, who are covered as self-employed, surged 27 percent to P12.36 million. We are prioritizing self-employed workers such as market vendors and those in the transport sector to enable them to get SSS protection as well,” he said.

The SSS is poised for the nationwide implementation of the “AlkanSSSya,” a program that aims to help informal sector workers regularly set aside a small portion of their daily earnings for contributions. It employs a scheme similar to saving through a piggy bank.

According to de Quiros, the implementation early this year of the “TrikanSSSya,” the precursor of the “AlkanSSSya,” has encouraged hundreds of tricycle operators and drivers in Metro Manila to register for SSS coverage or reactivate their membership.

“We plan to replicate this innovative savings scheme through partnerships with various types of workers’ associations within Metro Manila and all over the country so more people will benefit, especially those who need social protection the most,” he added.

The “AlkanSSSya” concept involves setting up a large coin bank with secure individual compartments where members can conveniently drop loose change for their SSS contributions. The accumulated daily savings will be counted and collected by SSS Account Officers at the end of every month.