PIA, SSS jointly bring services closer to people
In line with its mandate of bringing government services closer to the people, the Philippine Information Agency-National Capital Region (PIA-NCR), in partnership with the Social Security System (SSS), and in cooperation with the Bagong Silang Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (BASITODA) conducted a Sulit Conference for TODA in the country’s biggest barangay.
Last October 18, 2018, the team trooped to Barangay Bagong Silang in Caloocan City with the aim of helping the target audience get the necessary information that will help them acquire social protection through SSS.
Barangay Bagong Silang was established during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos. “Bagong Silang”, a Tagalog phrase for a newborn, was meant to signify “a new hope” for most of its residents, who were resettled from their original slum areas in Tondo, Manila, Commonwealth in Quezon City, and San Juan.
Considered as the largest barangay in the country in terms of both population and land area, Barangay Bagong Silang covers 524.68 hectares with a population of over 245,000, which accounts for about 16 percent of Caloocan’s total population. Due to its large population, addresses in the barangay are formatted as Phase, Package, Block and Lot.
In bringing the SSS Sulit Conference in Bagong Silang, the team coordinated with the officers of BASITODA through Manly Bayaban who heads the 3,000 plus members of BASITODA.
Bayaban said, out of the 3,000 members, he does not know how many of them are active SSS members.
Among them is Teodoro Mendoza, 62 years old. He was excited upon learning of the activity that afternoon.
“Gusto ko pong malaman kung paano ko maitutuloy ang paghuhulog sa SSS, nahinto ako may talong taon na ang nakararaan,” Mendoza said.
Ryan Haballa, 30 years old, a former fastfood restaurant crew, now driving a trike as source of livelihood. He is asking about voluntary contribution since he stopped formal employment a year ago.
“Paano po ba mag voluntary contribution, kasi may isang taon na akong di nakakahulog simula ng mag tricycle driver ako,” Haballa asked.
Another one is Domingo Tampus, 51 years old and a former member of Tala TODA. His tricycle got stolen in 2012, he wanted to ask SSS, if he can continue his voluntary contribution and if he can get a loan despite his existing unpaid loan.
“Nakikilabas lang po ako ng tricycle sa ngayon, gusto ko sana makabili ng sarili kong tricycle kaya gusto kong mag loan muli sa SSS,” Tampus said.
The forum is aimed at providing relevant information on the programs and projects of SSS designed primarily for tricycle drivers and operators.
The event was actively participated in by some 200 tricycle drivers and operators where most of them are members of BASITODA.
SSS Deparo Branch put up a kiosk during the event where some SSS personnel answered inquiries from the participants. They also distributed various IEC materials.
SSS Department Manager III, Fernando Nicolas discussed the various benefits that can be provided by the staterun pension to its members such as sickness, maternity, disability, old age pension and burial.
Nicolas said to avail of the benefits, they must first be a member of SSS. He then encouraged members of BASITODA to register, telling them of the requirements and processes to become a member.
For those who are already a member, he advised them to regularly pay their contribution in order to avail of the benefits especially in times of emergency, telling them that payments of contribution can be made at various accredited payment centers.
He also advised those who are planning to apply for loans to have it at SSS since the agency only applies 3% interest on loans plus it can be renewed within one year.
Everyone was obviously excited during the open forum. Questions came pouring in one after another where Nicolas gladly answered them all.
Even the officials of the barangay expressed utmost appreciation for the conduct of the event, thanking the PIA and the SSS for bringing services in places and people that needed it most.
Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa PIA at sa SSS sa serbisyong dinala n’yo ditto sa aming bayarangay. Marami pong nais maka alam ng mga benepisyong maaari nilang makuha sa pamamagitan ng SSS, subalit marami din sa kanila ang hindi maiwan ang kanilang hanapbuhay para pumunta sa inyong mga tanggapan. Kaya’t malaking pasasalamat po namin sa inyo sa paglalapit ng serbisyo sa amin,” said Barangay Councilman Daryl Cuntapay.
Bayaban, on the other hand, also expressed his gratitude to PIA and SSS. “Malaki po ang pasasalamat namin sa inyo, asahan ninyo pong hihikayatin namin ang lahat ng miyembro ng BASITODA na maging aktibong miyembro din ng SSS,” Bayaban said.
As civil servants, hearing such appreciation for the services rendered is more than enough, hence, the team vowed to bring more services to the grassroots soon. (PIA-NCR)
BASITODA members listen to SSS Department Manager III Fernando Nicolas as he discusses SSS services and benefits during the Sulit Conference for TODA held at Bagong Silang, Caloocan City on October 18, 2018. (Photo by Gelaine Louise Gutierrez)
SSS Department Manager III Fernando Nicolas discusses the Agency’s services and member’s benefits. (Photo by Gelaine Louise Gutierrez/PIA-NCR)