DAVAO CITY— Farmers and fisherfolk from an isolated area nearly two hours away from this city are set to secure their future retirement, after the Social Security System (SSS) introduced to them the AlkanSSSya program, an innovative scheme that makes saving daily for SSS benefits possible for informal sector workers.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said almost a hundred farmers and fisherfolk from Brgy. San Remegio in Kaputian from the Island Garden City of Samal have already started their AlkanSSSya savings during the program’s launch on May 29.

De Quiros said many farmers and fisherfolk from Brgy. San Remegio expressed their willingness to become covered SSS members, but they are often hindered by the lack of accessible banks and payment facilities.

“Having few cemented roads in their area also makes it hard for them to go to our offices. But now, with the AlkanSSSya, the SSS will instead go to them once a month to count and collect their accumulated savings for SSS contributions,” he added.

The new AlkanSSSya participants are members of the San Remegio Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SARBEMCO) and the San Remegio Fisherfolks Cooperative (SARFISHCO), which account for a combined total of 322 regular members and associates. Out of the total 200 members of SARBEMCO, 55 are now AlkanSSSya participants, while SARFISHCO has already enrolled 43 out of its 122 members and associates.

“AlkanSSSya members remit monthly premiums at least of P312, which has a corresponding monthly salary credit of P3,000. Just by saving about P10 to P12 each day, farmers and fisherfolks can already look forward to a secure future as active SSS members,” de Quiros noted.

SSS Assistant Vice President for Southern Mindanao Division Emmanuel Palma, SSS Davao City Branch Head Jove Colasito, SARBEMCO President Joel Mamac and SARFISCO Chairman Ronie Aque signed the AlkanSSSya memorandum of agreement on May 29 to formalize the new partnership.

The AlkanSSSya unit for SARBEMCO and SARFISHCO, which is installed at the SARBEMCO office for easy accessibility, is a cabinet-like metal structure containing mini-compartments. Each member is assigned one slot in the AlkanSSSya unit, in which they can drop their daily SSS savings until the required amount for the SSS monthly contribution is completed.

“Majority of SARBEMCO and SARFISHCO members have never experienced being an SSS member,” de Quiros said. “Others were already covered by SSS but have stopped paying contributions due to economic reasons. But the AlkanSSSya program now makes it possible for them to become active SSS members once again and to secure their and their families’ future.”