At least 210 OFWs from different Filipino communities in Rome, Napoli, Salerno and nearby areas availed of various services during the SSS Caravan held at the Social Hall, Philippine Embassy last Oct. 13 from 9am to 5:00pm. The event was capped with a Kapihan and SSS Forum from 5:30pm to 8pm. SSS President and Chief Executive Officer, Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr. and members of the SSS team were welcomed by His Excellency Ambassador Virgilio A. Reyes, Jr.
Foremost among the services availed by the OFWs and migrant workers was the availment of SSS UMID or Unified Multi-Purpose ID during the ID capture system services. Other services include: updating of membership status, reactivation, membership registration, answering queries and other information services.
Membership registration and reactivation was facilitated with the support of the banking sector, BDO, PNB, I Remit, Metrobank, RCBC and BPI which serve as remittance centers for SSS premium collection.
During the Kapihan and SSS Forum, SSS President and CEO de Quiros presented and explained the SSS program services emphasizing the various benefits, privileges and corresponding responsibilities of OFWs/migrant workers as SSS members. OFWs and migrant workers, meanwhile, took advantage of the opportunity to clarify and ask questions regarding various issues and concerns about their SSS benefits, membership status , reactivation, etc.
According to SSS Officer in Rome, Mr. Francisco Bacol, there are at least 150 OFWs and migrant workers who avail of SSS services monthly, whether thru enrolment as new or reactivated members. Among the benefits granted to SSS members are: maternity benefits, retirement, death/funeral grant, disability, sickness benefit, salary loan, calamity and housing loan.
They also offer the SSS Flexi-Fund which is a voluntary provident fund for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), an additional service of the SSS on top of its regular maximum membership. The program gives OFWs the opportunity to set aside part of their earnings abroad and maximize the return on their Flexi-fund, thus proving good security for their future.
A member’s total Flexi-fund contribution can be viewed at the SSS Online web site, including its actual interest/earning. This can be also withdrawn anytime, either the principal or only the amount interest/earnings.
With regard to benefits availed, SSS Rome Office was able to grant the fol-lowing benefits from 2008-2010: retirement benefits to 215 migrant work-ers, death pension, 54; sickness benefits 100; funeral grant 33; disability benefits, 16; and maternity benefits, 169. (POLO-OWWA Rome)