November 29, 2022

The Social Security System will offer a special payment program that will help farmers and fisherfolk pay their contributions retroactively. 
SSS La Trinidad, Benguet Head Dominador Malatag said the flexible payment schedule program covers the informal sectors such as the farmers, who do not have a regular source of income. 
“The farmers do not harvest every day or every month, it is seasonal. It means they have an income only for a certain period, so the program would accommodate those periods where they do not have an income,” Malatag said. 
The program will provide longer payment window for workers, where contributions for any of the last 12 applicable months may still be paid in the current month, so they could avoid missing applicable months that may qualify them for SSS benefits and loans. 
Self-employed individuals who belong to the informal sectors could also avail of the program. 
The program would enable the informal sectors to have an updated record, which is the basis of a worker’s SSS benefits.
SSS Baguio City Head Nancy Umoso said the program will be rolled out on Oct. 28 nationwide. 
Farmers and other informal sectors need to fill up the SSS electronic form for them to be provided with the payment reference number (PRN).  
“Once they have changed their membership status from voluntary, they need to be reverted back to self-employed for them to avail for the flexi-payment program,” Umoso said. 
SSS offices welcome those from the informal sector to avail of the flexible payment program.
The flexi-payment was conceived based on the 2021 nationwide survey commissioned by the SSS, where there is a misconception among those in the informal economy and last-mile communities that SSS membership is only for those formally employed.
Also, some of the challenges for members identified in the survey are the sustainability and payment of correct contributions, which are more likely from those in the informal economy. – Ofelia C. Empian