PIA, SSS jointly bring ser­vices closer to peo­ple

Palawan Daily News - - National - By Jim­my­ley E. Guz­man / PIA

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)

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