Over a hundred representatives of employers and workers attended the Social Security System’s (SSS) Employers’ Forum in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija on September 23, the first major gathering held in the city to update stakeholders on the latest SSS developments and gather their feedback on SSS services.
SSS San Jose City Branch Head Emma M. Laureta said the forum, which was organized by the branch and the SSS Member Relations Department (MRD), helped boost the pension fund’s continuing campaign to foster closer ties with its stakeholders all over the country.
“With the Employers’ Forum, we nurture and further strengthen the good relationships that SSS has established with its stakeholders. We remain committed to do our best to address the concerns of our partner employers, especially through the efforts of our account officers assigned to them,” she said.
The SSS San Jose City Branch covers employers under the 2nd District of Nueva Ecija, many of which are engaged in agriculture, livestock and education. The branch’s covered areas include the cities of San Jose and Munoz, and the towns of Carranglan, Lupao, Pantabangan, Rizal, Llanera and Talugtug.
The forum, which was held at the Maharlika Resort and Garden Grill Restobar and Hotel, provided the attendees with the latest information on the agency’s programs and services and shed light on their SSS-related concerns through activities such as the presentation by MRD Manager Fernando F. Nicolas.
In his presentation, Nicolas highlighted the advantages of utilizing SSS web services for convenient, easy and reliable SSS transactions. He also reminded participants of the ongoing SSS Loan Restructuring Program, which is open for availment until April 27, 2017 to help borrowers settle their overdue obligations through easier payment terms and conditional condonation of loan penalties.
The open forum that followed the SSS presentation also gave the attendees the opportunity to receive immediate clarifications on their social security concerns, such as the reimbursement of medical claims and processing time of benefit applications.
One of the participants asked whether a document executed by employees seeking exemption from having their share for SSS contributions deducted from their salaries is valid, and whether this would free the employer from any liabilities should any SSS-related problems arise.
In response, Nicolas emphasized that “the payment of SSS contributions by both the employees and the employer emanates from law and that no agreement may make valid the non-payment and non-remittance of contributions to the SSS.”
San Jose City Chamber of Commerce President Edgardo A. Alfonso, a special guest at the event, echoed the importance of complying with the Social Security Law, and reminded his fellow employers that doing their share will redound to the benefit and welfare of their employees.
Alfonso also described the SSS forum as “one way of the SSS in showing their gratitude to the employers who have supported them by way of truly doing their responsibility of remitting the right amount of SSS contributions.”
Nearly 2,600 employers and about 9,500 employees are currently registered at the SSS San Jose City Branch, which was relocated to a bigger office at the NE Bodega Mall in 2014. SSS retained the branch’s previous location at the city hall compound as an SSS Service Office which accepts verification of membership status and posted contributions, collection lists, and salary loan applications, among others.