The Social Security System (SSS) has recognized a total of 22 private and public sector partners for their invaluable roles in promoting the social protection of Filipino workers in the Philippines and overseas during the 2016 Balikat ng Bayan Awards held on September 2 as part of the 59th SSS anniversary celebration.
SSS Balikat ng Bayan Awards Committee Chairperson and Senior Vice President Judy Frances A. See said the list of awardees features a total of 14 winners under the regular categories. Ten SSS partners also garnered special citations, including two banks which were already among this year's awardees.
"We deeply appreciate the efforts of our partners in helping the SSS fulfill its mandate to extend meaningful social security protection to Filipino workers all over the world. The Balikat ng Bayan Awards is our way of saying thank you to them for their unrelenting support for SSS," she said.
See noted that two awardees and three recipients of special citations are SSS partners from the government sector while the rest come from the private sector, which underscores the importance of securing the support from the both the public and private sectors in achieving the SSS mandate.
The national Top Employer awards went to the Cebu-based Knowles Electronics Philippines, a manufacturer of microphones, speakers, hearing aids and other audio equipment for the Large Accounts category and Sannovex Pharmaceutical Distributor, a supplier of affordable generic drugs based in Mandaluyong City, for the Medium Accounts category.
The Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FFCCCI), a Binondo-based association of businessmen engaged in socioeconomic development activities, won as the national Top Employer for the Small Accounts category. The organization topped the Small/Medium Accounts category last year.
"Our chosen top employers have demonstrated faithful compliance with the Social Security 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" See said.
SSS also conferred Balikat ng Bayan Awards to its top partners in terms of collection, payments and media-based information dissemination. The winning Best Collection Partners were chosen based on their faithful compliance with the Social Security Law as employers and accreditation guidelines as collection partners, including efficiency in terms of collecting payments for members' contributions and salary loan amortizations.
The top SSS collection partners include China Banking Corporation as Best Commercial Bank, PNB Savings Bank as Best Thrift Bank, Rang-ay Bank as Best Rural Bank, CIS Bayad Center, Inc. as Best Non-OFW Collection Partner, and Philippine National Bank (PNB) as Best OFW Collection Partner.
"We also bestowed Hall of Fame distinctions to One Network Bank, Inc. for the Best Collecting Bank category and to Ventaja International Corporation for the Best OFW Collection Partner category after they have topped these categories for three straight years," See noted.
The winning Best Paying Partners, which were selected based on the number of pensioners served, amount of pension disbursements and reach of their branch networks, were the Land Bank of the Philippines as Best Commercial Bank and RCBC Savings Bank as Best Thrift Bank. These paying partners were also found to be in faithful compliance with the Social Security Law as employers and accreditation guidelines as paying partners.
For Best Media Partner for Television, PTV4 was the top choice among the contending TV stations while DZRB-Radyo ng Bayan was picked as the Best Media Partner for Radio. They were chosen based on their impact to the audience and program content particularly in featuring SSS programs and services.
Among the recipients of Balikat ng Bayan special citations are SSS partners in coverage and collection initiatives such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
DILG and DSWD are the first national state-run agencies which recognized the value of partnering with SSS for the social protection of their job order and contractual workers who are excluded from the mandatory coverage of the Government Service Insurance System.
SSS efforts to ensure the social protection of farmers, fishermen and other vulnerable workers from the informal sector were enhanced by the support of organizations and special citation recipients such as the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) Inc. as Accredited Partner Agent, Baganga Integrated Social Action Group (BISAG) as AlkanSSSya Program Partner, and Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute as Full Subsidy Program Partner.
Two of this year's partner banks awardees - PNB and RCBC Savings Bank - also garnered special citations as Collecting Thrift Bank and Paying Commercial Bank, respectively. SSS also gave a special citation to iRemit, Inc. as OFW Collecting Partner.
See said the pension fund also conferred special citations to two media partners who extended their help in disseminating information on SSS programs and policies to provide members a better understanding of the pension fund's operations.
"Media partners with special citations include the column 'Ang Inyong Lingkod' by Dr. Hilda Ong of the tabloid Remate which features SSS releases twice a month and the radio program 'Buti Na Lang May SSS' which airs at DZIQ 990 every Wednesday to discuss SSS programs and services," she said.
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 trophy given to the awardees.
Source: Philippine Information Agency