Thousands of agrarian reform beneficiaries across the Caraga region will benefit from the Social Security System’s (SSS) recent accreditation of a Mindanao-based cooperative as a collecting partner agent (CPA), enabling the farmers to pay their contributions and loans thru their designated representatives who can receive their payments and remit them to SSS.

SSS Senior Vice President for Accounts Management Judy Frances See cited the Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BCBMPC) as being the first organization accredited as both an SSS collecting and servicing partner agent, after it signed an agreement with SSS on its new CPA status during ceremonies at the SSS Main Office in Quezon City on September 27.

“We commend BCBMPC for its initiative and dedication in collaborating with SSS for the social protection of its thousands of farmer-members,” See said.

BCBMPC, which operates eight branches in Northern Mindanao that provide various livelihood and financial programs to its over 7,500 members, was initially accredited as an SSS servicing partner agent (SPA) last June 7, 2013. As an SPA, the cooperative is allowed to receive its members’ applications for SSS registration, member loans and funeral claims, thereby providing convenience to its farmer-members, especially those in far-flung areas who have limited access to SSS branches. In return, the SSS pays a P4.00 service fee to the SPA for every approved transaction.

Now, as an accredited CPA, the cooperative is authorized to designate representatives who can collect from its members their SSS payments for contributions, member loan amortizations, and other miscellaneous payments, such as the replacement fee for their Unified Multipurpose Identification System or “UMID” card. The SSS will pay BCBMPC a P6.00 service fee for every posted payment transaction.

“The partnership between SSS and BCBMPC is mutually-rewarding, in that we both meet our goal of providing service convenience and social protection to our members,” See noted.

Apart from its dual role as an SPA and CPA, BCBMPC is also SSS’ partner in the microsavings program for informal sector workers called the “AlkanSSSya.” Last June, the cooperative voluntarily subsidized the cost of the AlkanSSSya unit for the Magallanes Cabadbaran Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (MCTODA), a move that benefited nearly a hundred public transport workers, including several BCBMPC farmer-members who earn additional income from driving a tricycle in-between cropping seasons.

“The accreditation of SPAs and CPAs as well as the AlkanSSSya Program are part of our intensified campaign to bring SSS protection to vulnerable, hard-to-reach workers. It is our goal to ensure that informal sector workers have access to the same SSS programs and benefits that their counterparts in the formal sector receive,” she added.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr., BCBMPC Chairperson Magdalina Tiu, SSS Executive Vice President for Investments Edgar Solilapsi, BCBMPC General Manager Luxmi Auxillo and See, along with other top officials from the two organizations, graced the ceremonial signing of the CPA agreement.

“In effect, this new agreement makes BCBMPC our first three-in-one partner agent, since it now has existing tie-ups with SSS as a servicing and collecting agent, and an AlkanSSSya partner. This is in addition to their distinction as the first organization outside of Luzon to gain accreditation as our SPA,” See said. “We hope other organizations in Mindanao, as well as in other parts of the country, will follow its example.”