As a result of its drive to provide members quick and convenient services, the Social Security System (SSS) posted a record 601,936 transactions via its mobile phone-based facility called “Text-SSS” in 2012, reflecting a jump of 106 percent from its total of 291,600 in 2011.
SSS Vice President for Member Services Division Mario Sibucao said the number of new Text-SSS users showed a similar surge of 107 percent, with a total of 163,384 new registrants recorded in 2012 from only 78,795 members joining the program in 2011. Over 313,000 members are registered in Text-SSS as of December 31, 2012.
“The Text-SSS enhancements we introduced last year gave members a huge incentive to use this facility, which brought steep growths in both registration and number of transactions. This year, we hope more members will register so they will also benefit from the ease and convenience that Text-SSS brings,” he added.
Launched in February 2010, the Text-SSS was initially offered as a means for members to conveniently check their SSS contributions, loan balance and loan status using their mobile phones. Given the Philippines’ status as the “Text Capital of the World”, SSS members quickly took to using the short-messaging service (SMS)-based facility for their inquiries.
In 2012, the SSS expanded its Text-SSS services to allow members to get updates on the status of their sickness, disability, maternity, retirement and funeral claims. Members can also send feedback on SSS programs and services thru Text-SSS.
Sibucao listed other Text-SSS services also launched last year, such as inquiry facilities for members asking about the required documents for SSS registration, amendment of membership data and filing of benefit claims. Members can also check SSS branch locations via Text-SSS.
“By using Text-SSS and other self-service facilities such as the SSS website, members can check their SSS records and get information wherever they are. This access to information leads to their empowerment against negligent employers who fail to register them or remit their contributions,” he said. “This also saves members a lot of time, effort and money as compared to their visiting an SSS office to follow up or inquire personally.”
A total of 212,174 contribution inquiries made up a third of Text-SSS transactions last year, up by 64 percent from the 129,029 inquiries posted in 2011. To register with Text-SSS, members can text their SS number and birthdate using the format “SSS REG ” to 2600. Each text message costs P2.50 for Globe and Smart subscribers and P2.00 for Sun Cellular users.