The Social Security System (SSS) is holding a special exhibit titled “Pagpupugay Kay Gat Andres, Bayani ng Manggagawang Pilipino, at sa mga Makabagong Bayani ng Bayan: Bilib Kami Sa’Yo!” The exhibit, which is in line with the 56th anniversary celebration of SSS on September 1, 2013, highlights the heroism of the Filipino worker, as exemplified by national hero Andres Bonifacio.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. along with representatives of government and private insitutions graced the exhibit’s launch on August 30.

“Prior to his rise as one of the pillars of the Philippine revolution, Gat Andres Bonifacio was already a hero at a young age to his siblings when he took on the responsibilities of being a family breadwinner following the death of his parents,” SSS Vice President for Public Affairs and Special Events Division Marissu Bugante said. “Through this exhibit, we likewise recognize the heroism of modern-day ‘Bonifacios’, the SSS members, whose hard work and dedication help bring their families, and even the entire nation, towards a brighter and more secure future.”

The 56th SSS anniversary exhibit will run until November 30 — the date of Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary — all the way to December 27, the last working day of 2013. The first half of the exhibit puts the spotlight on Bonifacio’s early years, his role in the Philippine revolt against the Spanish colonial rule, and his final days.

Bugante said the second half of the exhibit showcases SSS’ campaign in bringing social security protection to more workers, especially to informal sector workers. At the forefront of this campaign is the “AlkanSSSya,” a microsavings program that enables members of participating informal sector groups (ISGs) to save regularly for monthly SSS contributions using a secure, cabinet-like facility.

“The months leading up to our 56th year of service were characterized by numerous partnerships forged between SSS and ISGs, as shown in our anniversary exhibit,” she noted. “One of the major highlights is the fast growth in AlkanSSSya membership, which rose to about 300 covered ISGs at present, from only 55 participating ISGs at the start of 2013.”

Bugante added that the exhibit also shows new SSS milestones such as the first-ever SSS subsidy agreement that provides social security protection to nearly 200 farmers in Central Luzon, and the accreditation of workers’ associations as SSS servicing partner agents to improve access of self-employed and informal sector workers to SSS services.

Created as the state-run pension fund for the private sector, the SSS started operations on September 1, 1957 after amendments to the landmark “Social Security Act of 1954” took effect and paved the way for the SSS Charter’s implementation. While the SSS initially focused on regular employees, the types of covered workers expanded over the decades to include household helpers, overseas Filipino workers, self-employed professionals, farmers, fisherfolk and informal sector workers

SSS members, pensioners and the general public are invited to visit the SSS Gallery located at the 2nd floor of the SSS Building in Quezon City. The SSS Gallery is open from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays, excluding holidays. Admission is free.