SSS CHAIRMAN Amado Valdez and SSS Commissioner Atty. Gonzalo Duque with journalist Alfred Gabot and broadcaster Rolando Gonzalo during the SSS anniversary celebration. Chairman Valdez, President Emmanuel Dooc and other officials like Atty. Duque assured members that SSS is strong and healthy. (Photo by Bernard Testa)
By LOLLY RIVERA ACOSTA
QUEZON CITY – The Social Security System (SSS) recognized recently top public and private sector partners for their individual roles in ensuring the social security protection of Filipino workers in the country during the 2017 Balikat ng Bayan Awards in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the pension fund.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the employers and partner agents together with the Filipino worker members are the bloodline of the institution in providing quality social security protection to its members and pensioners.
“One of the highlights of our 60th anniversary is the awarding of the national winners of the 2017 Balikat ng Bayan (BNB). We will not complete this month-long celebration without according due honors and recognition to the deserving winners,” Dooc said.
“The SSS’ responsibility to private sector workers is a huge task and every bit of support goes a long way especially from your ranks, our dear employers and partner agencies. Companies and employers shoulder a big percentage of members’ monthly SSS contributions; and as a result of employers fulfilling their SSS obligation, their workers become entitled to SSS benefits. I therefore commend our awardee-companies for their enduring commitment to advance the welfare of their employees by complying with the SS law and even going beyond,” Dooc added.
Social Security Commission (SSC) Chairman Amado D. Valdez, likewise, expressed his appreciation to the Balikat ng Bayan awardees referring them as the new army against the war versus old-age, disability, and financial problem.
“In that war, the army is not just the SSS employees, but that army includes also the employers who are with us who contribute 3/4 of that fund that will ensure social security protection of employees. So thank you for that our dear employers,” Valdez said.
Dooc said the 2017 BNB winners included 10 awardees under the regular category and five SSS partners with special citations.
PanAsiatic Call Center, Inc., a Bacolod-based business process outsourcing firm bagged the national Top Employer award for the large account category while Marikina-based cosmetics company Beautiful Horizon, Inc. won the medium account category.
Binondo-based association of businessmen engaged in socioeconomic development activities, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FFCCCI), was hailed as the Top Employer for the small account category.
Dooc said the chosen top employers have demonstrated faithful compliance with the Social Security (SS) Law by, among others, reporting their employees within 30 days from start of employment, paying their employees’ contributions and loan payments promptly and accurately, submitting their employer reports on time, and actively participating in SSS programs.
SSS also conferred Balikat ng Bayan Awards to its top partners in collection of payments and media-based information dissemination. The winning Best Collection Partners were chosen based on their faithful compliance with the SS Law as employers, and accreditation guidelines as collection partners, including efficiency in terms of collecting payments for members’ contributions and salary loan amortizations.
East West Rural Bank bagged the Best Collecting and Best Paying Partner for rural banks while Land Bank of the Philippines was the Best Paying Partner for commercial banks. Winners were selected based on the number of pensioners served, amount of pension disbursements, and reach of their branch networks. These paying partners were also found to be fully compliant with the SS Law as employers and with accreditation guidelines as paying partners.
Best Media Award, on the other, was given to the state-run People’s Television Network’s flagship morning magazine show Good Morning Pilipinas for the TV category. Radyo Natin Laguna Broadcasting Service, a low-power FM Station in Calamba City, won the radio category, while Pilipino Mirror won the print category. They were chosen based on their impact to the audience and program content in featuring SSS programs and services.
SSS also awarded for the first time the Best Servicing and Collecting Partner to recognize the importance of the informal sector in the fulfillment of the SSS mission of achieving universal coverage.
The award was given to SEDP – Simbag sa Pag-asesnso, Inc,- a non-government agency based in Legazpi City providing financial and non-financial services to their members to improve their socio-economic condition to become strong and self-sustaining centers in their communities.
Furthermore, SSS conferred special citations award to five distinguished partners for their valuable support to SSS over the year.
The provincial government of Isabela, Manila International Airport Authority, and Bukidnon State University were given special citations as partner government agencies for their continuous and consistent support to the KaltaSSS-Collect program for self-employed individuals like job order and contractual worker who are exempted from the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) coverage.
Amado Macasaet of Malaya Business Insight was given the special citation award for media partner for print for his valuable commentaries offering perspectives often viewed less positively than pro-populist messages during the height of the clamor to pass the pension hike measure.
A special citation award was given to Ventaja International Corp for consistently providing exemplary performance to its customers, even after having conferred the Hall of Fame Award in 2016 for winning the Best OFW Collection Partner category for three consecutive years since 2012.
Other Hall of Fame awardees of the Balikat ng Bayan were the Philippine National Bank (2007), RCBC Savings Bank (2009), I-Remit, Inc. (2014) and One Network Bank (2016), as Best Paying Partner – Commercial Bank, Best Collection Partner – Thrift Bank, Best Collection Partner – OFW Bank/Non-Bank and Best Collection Partner – Rural Bank, respectively.
The SSS Balikat ng Bayan Awards started in 1995 as one of the highlights of the founding anniversary of the pension fund. Dr. Antonino Raymundo, a respected Filipino sculptor, designed the Balikat ng Bayan plaque given to the awardees