– Thousands of home-based workers and micro-entrepreneurs here and in neighboring provinces will benefit from easier Social Security System (SSS) registration and wider access to SSS benefits and services after a local diocese-run institution gained SSS’ accreditation as a servicing partner agent.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said the new partnership between SSS and Simbag sa Pag-asenso, Inc., more popularly known by its former name of Socio-Economic Development Program or “SEDP”, helps bring social protection closer to nearly 32,500 self-employed workers in Southern Bicol and Northern Samar.
“Our tie-up with SEDP is a big boost in our campaign to bring SSS protection to home-based workers, who are among the hard-to-reach and vulnerable labor sectors. The agreement helps pave the way for SSS coverage of over 29,000 SEDP members, or about 90 percent of its membership, who still lack SSS registration,” he said.
The SSS-SEDP partnership enables the organization’s members and their families to conveniently course their SSS membership, loan and funeral benefit applications through designated SEDP collectors, who regularly visit them at home or in their workplace.
Simbag sa Pag-asenso, Inc. is a development institution run by the Diocese of Legazpi City. It aims to uplift marginalized entrepreneural families and other self-employed workers through financial assistance, such as low-interest loans, and training programs.
De Quiros and Rev. Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo, SEDP President and Chief Executive Officer, signed the memorandum of agreement before hundreds of SEDP members during ceremonies held at the La Piazza Hotel and Convention Center in Legazpi City on February 4.
“Our partnership with SEDP addresses the workers’ concern of having little time or resources to visit an SSS office for their transactions,” de Quiros said. “As an SSS servicing partner agent, SEDP will be paid a processing fee for every approved SSS transaction.”
SEDP has a total of 32,457 members, about 60 percent of whom are based in Albay, and the rest in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate and Northern Samar.