The Social Security System (SSS) collected a total of P46.68 billion in contributions during the first half of the year, which was higher by nine percent compared with P42.72 billion over the same period in 2011.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said about 39 percent of the total were from over-the-counter (OTC) payments at SSS-accredited banks, which collected P18.12 billion in contributions during the first six months of 2012.

“Other popular payment channels for contributions are SSS branch tellers and the SSSNet facility, which enables companies, especially those with hundreds of employees, to pay monthly premiums conveniently and accurately via the Internet,” he noted.

Premiums from employees and household helpers during the first half of 2012 totaled P40.66 billion, up by nine percent from P37.23 billion collected from January to June 2011. Meanwhile, contributions remitted by overseas Filipino workers rose 14 percent for a six-month total of P1.25 billion. Contributions from self-employed members, such as entrepreneurs, professionals, informal sector workers, farmers and fisherfolk, likewise increased by six percent to P2.5 billion, while premiums from voluntary members jumped by 11 percent to nearly P2.3 billion.

De Quiros urged members to enroll in the SSS website (www.sss.gov.ph) to gain access to their records such as membership data and posted contributions. Registered web users can also perform online SSS transactions including loan applications and maternity notifications.

“By giving members open access to their records through the website, they can monitor discrepancies and refer them to us for correction early on, instead of waiting until retirement age to amend inaccuracies that can affect the processing of their benefits,” he said.

Among SSS projects in the pipeline is the Automated Tellering System (ATS), which will prevent “unpostable” or missing contributions caused by incorrect social security (SS) numbers provided by members paying at SSS branch tellers.

The agency, which receives payments in more than 90 SSS branches nationwide, piloted the ATS last May 2012 at branch tellers in SSS Cubao, SSS Commonwealth and the SSS main office in Quezon City.

“The ATS will alert our frontline personnel if the member’s name does not match the given SS number. This over-the-counter verification ensures accurate posting of contributions and reduces the need to reconcile members’ records for immediate release of benefits,” he explained.

SSS also accepts contributions through Auto-Debit Arrangements and OTC payments at Bayad Centers and SM Business Centers. Overseas members can remit premiums via Ventaja, iRemit, PNB Overseas Bills Payment System, and Worldwide Delivery Services. – Sigfredo Ibay