Operations of Social Security System branches at the Luzon North 1 Division are back under the ‘new normal’ after one and a half months of operating with skeleton workforce due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in Luzon.
SSS Baguio and SSS La Trinidad resumed operations on May 18.
SSS branches in Laoag, Vigan, Candon, Bangued, Bontoc, La Union (San Fernando City), and Agoo opened their doors on May 4, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases lifted the ECQ in selected provinces and placed them under general community quarantine.
SSS Vice President for Luzon North 1 Division Caesar P. Saludo said precautionary measures are already in place to ensure the safety of members and frontline personnel.
“In adherence to the Department of Health directives, we shall implement the ‘no mask, no entry’ policy which is a requirement for our members. Social distancing will also be strictly implemented within and outside the branch premises. Members will be guided by markers where they should stand in queue. Once inside our offices, one meter distance in between seats is also imposed. They will also be asked to fill out a health declaration slip for monitoring purposes,” Saludo said.
Aside from the usual temperature checks at the gates and doors, foot baths are available for disinfection.
Separate entrance and exit doors are also designated to avoid crowding.
A number coding scheme is also implemented to avoid overcrowding.
Members are encouraged to transact with SSS on the last digit of their Social Security numbers. Those with SS numbers ending in 1 and 2 should transact only every Mondays; 3 and 4, every Tuesdays; 5 and 6 every Wednesdays; 7 and 8, Thursdays; and 9 and 0, Fridays.
“Members visiting our branch to submit their benefit applications are encouraged to submit it via drop boxes located in front of our branches. Our staff will collect the documents every afternoon for processing the following day. We encourage them to write their contact details in their application forms so that we can update them with their respective status,” Saludo said.
SSS La Union has also launched its text lines so that members can send their queries through SMS instead of visiting the office.
Members may send their SSS queries every Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 0915-666-2004 or 0951-987-7092.
A phone booth was also installed outside the building to accommodate the queries of walk-in clients.
“While we are coping with the ‘new normal’ amidst the health crisis, we appeal to our members for their patience and cooperation. As we continue to commit ourselves to public service during this time of crisis, our priority will always be their safety and health from coronavirus disease-2019,” Saludo said.
SSS is also encouraging members to use online platforms like Text-SSS, SSS Mobile App, FB page (Philippine Social Security System), and by sending e-mail through members_relat[email protected] for faster, easier and comfortable transactions.
As of May 15, over-the-counter transactions from the North Luzon branches that opened on May 4 already reached 3,285, which are comprised of benefit applications and other member-related queries. – Press release