In its continuing campaign to reach out to millions of workers without social protection, the Social Security System (SSS) has inked key partnerships with two national government agencies to provide SSS coverage to thousands of job order (JO) and contractual personnel as self-employed members.

Judy Frances See, SSS Senior Vice President for Account Management, said the SSS has signed agreements with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which employ 100,000 and 12,000 workers, respectively, as JO and contractual hires.

“With DILG and DSWD taking on the task of facilitating the SSS registration and regular remittance of payments of their JO and contractual personnel, these workers can look forward to the advantages of active SSS membership such as availment of benefits and loan privileges,” See explained.

Contractuals and JO workers hired by state agencies fall outside the mandated reach of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), which covers only regular employees in the public sector. Through their coverage as self-employed SSS members, these JO and contractual workers now gain access to financial assistance during times of SSS-covered contingencies such as maternity, sickness, disability, retirement or old age, and death.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. signed the coverage agreements separately with DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and with DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman within the first quarter of this year. The SSS plans to forge similar partnerships for JO and contractual personnel in other state agencies in the coming months.

See clarified that local government units (LGUs) under the DILG – including provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays – and DWSD central and field offices have no obligation to pay the employer counterpart of the SSS contributions of their JO and contractual personnel.

“However, as part of our agreement, DILG and DWSD have pledged to ensure that their JO and contractual hires are duly reported for SSS coverage, and that they will regularly remit payments for contributions and loans of these workers to the SSS no later than the 10th day after the applicable month,” she said.

The workers’ monthly net earnings to be declared to SSS, which serve as basis for the amount of contributions, shall not be lower than the income stated in their service contracts. The LGUs and DSWD offices will also immediately report new JO and contractual hires for SSS coverage.

The pension fund, on the other hand, will assign a representative or account officer from the nearest SSS branch to assist with the SSS needs of an LGU or DSWD office. SSS branches will also monitor the compliance of LGUs and DSWD offices to the terms of the coverage agreement.

“Our branches are also ready to conduct other activities in support of this joint endeavor, such as info-seminars on the value of SSS membership, on-site SSS registration and enrollment for the Unified Multipurpose Identification System or ‘UMID’ card for qualified JO and contractual workers,” See added.