The Social Security System (SSS) has expanded the reach of its microsavings scheme called “AlkanSSSya” to include jail inmates earning a living from making handicrafts while inside a correctional facility.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said an initial batch of 80 female inmates will benefit from the AlkanSSSya unit launched by SSS inside the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Quezon City Female Dormitory on February 26.

“Inmates have proven that they can still be productive despite incarceration by creating bags, rags and other handicrafts. With the AlkanSSSya program, they can now save even when in prison and look forward to getting social protection from SSS in the future,” he added.

SSS Assistant Vice President for NCR Central Division Alberto Alburo, SSS Diliman Branch Officer-in-Charge Leonora Nuque and QC Female Dormitory Officer-in-Charge J/CInsp. Elena Rocamora signed the AlkanSSSya agreement.

Aside from inmates who are newly-covered SSS members, the AlkanSSSya participants also include those who stopped contributing to SSS after entering the correctional facility. There are currently about 500 female inmates with pending cases who are housed in the QC Female Dormitory and who could potentially join the AlkanSSSya program.

The AlkanSSSya, which derives its concept from a piggy bank, is a large cabinet with secure individual compartments in which members can put their savings for monthly SSS contributions. Each AlkanSSSya unit can store the SSS savings of up to 160 members.

“AlkanSSSya members can contribute a minimum of P312 per month, which translates to just a little over P10 a day. We are heartened that the program continues to gather support from informal sector workers nationwide because it really makes saving for SSS membership more convenient and affordable for them,” de Quiros noted.

The QC Female Dormitory’s participation came about after SSS’ presentation on the AlkanSSSya program to various heads and representatives of Quezon City agencies during an Executive Committee meeting headed by City Mayor Herbert Bautista last November 7, 2012.

Hundreds of garbage pickers from the Payatas dumpsite joined the AlkanSSSya program last December 3, 2012 as a result of the same meeting, which was also attended by Col. Jameel RM Jaymalin, Director of the Payatas Poverty Alleviation Foundation Inc. (PPAFI).

“We are thankful to the Quezon City government for their support for the AlkanSSSya program. Hopefully, AlkanSSSya will be adopted by more prisons and correctional facilities around the country to give hope to inmates, both male and female,” de Quiros said.