The Social Security System (SSS) announced that its mobile phone-based facility, Text-SSS has now crossed 434,022 registered users as more members seek fast and convenient access to their social security records.

SSS Vice-President for Member Services Division Mario R. Sibucao said 35,453 members joined the program in under six months in 2014, which was up 23 percent from 151,517 registered users recorded in 2013.

“Our members are now mobile and the increase in the number of users of Text-SSS facility since we launched it in February 2010 is a validation of this. Almost half a million of our members now rely on their mobile phones whenever they need to check their SSS records or get updates on their claims” Sibucao said.

Total text queries reached 157,760 during the first semester of 2014, reflecting a 47-percent growth from 2013. Inquiries regarding the status of contributions and loan payments were most common, which made up 29 and 14 percent of the the total, respectively. As of June 2014, the SSS has recorded more than 2 million text queries by Text-SSS users.

Sibucao, however, noted that the number of SSS members using Text-SSS is relatively low. “On an average, we only get around 30,000 text queries from them monthly,” he said.

Text-SSS enables users to check the status of their contributions, loan payments and benefit claims by sending the keywords corresponding to the type of information they need. The text service requires a one-time registration and each inquiry costs a minimal fee of P2.00 or P2.50, depending on the network a member is subscribed to.

“We encourage our members to take advantage of this facility as it will save them both the time and money involved in going to our offices for basic inquiries. By using Text SSS and other self-service facilities such as the SSS Website, members can keep track of their records wherever they are and be on guard against their employers that do not comply with the SSS law,” he added.

Members can register by sending their SS number and birthdate using the format “SSS REG ” to 2600. SSS text transactions need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) code, which will be sent through text after successful registration.