The Social Security System (SSS) is advising delivery riders engaged in food transport and courier services to join as self-employed members and be covered by social security in order to take advantage of the pension fund’s different benefit programs and loan privileges.

The advice was given by SSS during a virtual forum entitled “Proteksyong SSS Para sa Delivery Riders”, attended recently by nearly 1,000 participants.

In a statement, the SSS said the online forum is the kickoff event for a series of outreach activities for delivery riders providing services to various digital platform companies such as Angkas, Dingdong, Food Panda, Grab, Joyride, Lalamove, and others.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said in the statement that, undoubtedly, among other businesses, the digital platform delivery industry has had one of the most rapid and broad development rates in recent years, particularly during the pandemic.

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“We have realized that this population comprised of our delivery riders has greatly helped our citizens in purchasing and getting their goods or services without going out of their respective homes. Considering the high risk of their profession by being in the field most of the time, they need solid protection that in cases of contingencies, they can have something to turn to,” Ignacio explained.

Many of the delivery riders for different digital platform companies are designated as freelancers or independent contractors. As a result, they are not considered regular workers of the company and hence are not eligible for benefits provided by the country’s labor and social security regulations.

Ignacio underlined the need of having financial protection while doing their delivery duties in case of unanticipated incidents or emergencies.

“We encourage them to become SSS members or to continue their membership under the Self-Employed Coverage Program. SSS is the most affordable and meaningful savings option which can provide them with several types of benefits,” she added.

During the virtual event, the value of Social Security and Employees’ Compensation Programs for delivery riders was further discussed. Professional Sector Department Acting Head Carlo Villacorta explained that delivery riders must be appropriately classified as self-employed members under the SSS to have the most effective financial protection against risks brought by constant exposure to various elements, especially to the virus.

As self-employed SSS members, they will be entitled to social security benefits such as sickness, maternity, retirement, disability, funeral, and death. Likewise, they shall become eligible for loan programs which include salary, calamity, educational assistance, among others.

They will also have additional coverage from the Employees’ Compensation (EC) Program for work-related contingencies such as sickness, disability, death and funeral, medical and rehabilitation services. The ECP provides them and their dependents with an extra layer of protection from work-related contingencies, aside from their SSS coverage.

Currently, the SSS contribution rate stands at 13%, and the monthly salary credit (MSC) used to determine the amount of monthly contribution ranges from P3,000 to P25,000. The lowest monthly contribution is P400, broken down into P390 for the regular Social Security (SS) Program and P10 for the EC Program. Meanwhile, the highest monthly contribution is P3,280, broken down into P2,600 for the regular SS Program, P30 for the EC Program, and P650 for the Workers’ Investment Savings Program (WISP). For example, if a delivery rider earns P13,000 monthly, he will have a monthly contribution payment of P1,700.

The virtual forum also featured a discussion on how delivery riders can register as self-employed members. For those without SS numbers, the Member Education Department taught them the SS number online application through the SSS website (www.sss.gov.ph). Moreover, they were also oriented on how to generate their Payment Reference Number (PRN) for contribution payments using the My.SSS on the SSS website or through the SSS Mobile App.

For payment of their contributions, they may access the SSS Mobile App, Bayad or GCash mobile apps, or the internet banking facility of the Security Bank and Union Bank of the Philippines as long as they have an existing deposit account with the said banks. For counter payments, they may facilitate it through SSS partner banks such as Asia United Bank, Bank of Commerce, Bank One Savings Bank, Philippine Business Bank, Rural Bank of Lanuza, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Union Bank of the Philippines, and United Coconut Planters Bank.

The deadline for the SSS contribution payments of self-employed members is the last day of the month following the applicable month or calendar quarter.

For instance, delivery riders could pay their contribution payments for the applicable month of October 2021 until November 30, 2021, if they opt to pay their SSS contributions monthly. On the other hand, if they opt to pay their SSS contributions quarterly, they could pay their SSS contributions for the applicable months of October, November, and December 2021 until January 31, 2022.

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