The Social Security System (SSS) conferred the first-ever “Miyembro, Bilib Kami Sa’Yo” Special Awards to four cooperatives and five informal sector groups (ISGs) for their pioneering partnerships with SSS that have paved the way for social protection and active SSS membership of workers in their respective sectors during ceremonies on September 9.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said the SSS also honored five retail corporations for their role in making SSS services accessible to the mall-going public during the awarding ceremonies, which was part of the Anniversary Program held at the SSS Building in Quezon City.

“With the support of ISGs, cooperatives and other partner institutions, the SSS has been able to establish innovative ways of reaching out to millions of Filipino workers, especially those in the informal sector. We commend the awardees for being the first in their sectors to embrace new possibilities in bringing the SSS closer to their members and clients,” he added.

The new SSS awards program is inspired by the 56th SSS anniversary theme “Nagpupugay sa Miyembro, Bilib Kami Sa’Yo!” De Quiros, Social Security Commission Chairman Juan Santos and SSS Executive Vice President Edgar Solilapsi presented the trophy to the representatives of the 14 awardees, some of whom have traveled from areas as far as Legaspi and General Santos cities.

The awarded cooperatives were Deep Well Sumulong Irrigators Association, Inc. as the first SSS servicing partner agent (PA) and subsidy provider; Dao Multi-Purpose Cooperative as first SSS collecting cooperative; Simbag sa Pag-Asenso, Inc. as first SSS servicing PA; and Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Inc. as first SSS servicing PA with a nationwide scope.

De Quiros said the ISG-awardees were TS Cruz Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TSC-TODA) and the United Vendors of New Las Piñas Public Market, both from Las Piñas City; QC Female Dormitory Working Inmates and Payatas Alliance Recycling Exchange Multi-Purpose Cooperative, both from Quezon City; and Samahan ng mga Caddies sa Calatagan Golf Club, Inc. from Batangas province.

“These five ISGs showed exemplary initiative in enabling their respective memberships to become active SSS members through our microsavings program called the ‘AlkanSSSya’,” de Quiros noted. “They were also the first to join the AlkanSSSya Program among the various associations nationwide for transport workers, market vendors, golf club workers, waste recyclers and jail inmates.”

TSC-TODA‘s successful participation in the pilot implementation of the “TrikanSSSya” project, which aims to eliminate barriers to active SSS membership of TODA members, in December 2011 helped shape the current AlkanSSSya Program. At present, the AlkanSSSya Program has about 300 participating ISGs, including TODAs from other parts of the country.

SSS also presented the “Miyembro, Bilib Kami Sa’Yo” Special Award to Robinsons Land Corporation for providing SSS with mall space and facilities that led to the creation of SSS Service Offices located at Lingkod Pinoy Centers in nearly 20 Robinsons Malls nationwide.

Likewise awarded were Araneta Center, Inc., Masterpiece Asia Properties, Willin Sales Inc. and KCC Property Holding for their contribution in the establishment of mall-based SSS Service Offices in Ali Mall (Cubao, Quezon City), Starmall (San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan), Walter Mart Makiling (Calamba, Laguna) and KCC Mall (Lagao, General Santos City).