THE Social Security System (SSS) has added over half a million government workers serving under job order (JO) and contract of service (COS) arrangements to its membership.

The membership expansion program was undertaken to include some government workers not covered by the Government Service Insurance System, Executive Vice-President for Branch Operations Sector Voltaire P. Agas said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We are sad to hear stories that, after decades of public service, they have zero savings and do not receive any pensions when they retire,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Rolando L. Macasaet said.

“Through the KaSSSangga Collect Program, temporary public workers will be registered as self-employed members while their respective organizations collect and remit their contributions to the SSS, thereby helping them to become eligible for Social Security and Employees’ Compensation benefits,” he added.

Mr. Agas also said that the new members will improve the financial standing of the SSS and fulfill its mandate to provide social security protection.

Quezon City accounted for 15,000 new covered personnel after Mr. Macasaet and Quezon City Mayor Maria Josefina G. Belmonte signed an agreement on Jan. 29.

The SSS also signed a memorandum of agreement for the KaSSSangga Collect Program with the Department of Public Works and Highways in Quezon City District 2, involving over 200 JO and COS workers, many of them street sweepers.

“As they are exposed to various health hazards while performing their duties, the more these workers deserve social security protection regardless of their employment status in the government.”

The SSS also signed agreements with Mandaluyong, Taguig, and Malabon in 2023.

Mr. Agas added that the SSS expects to include more government agencies who employ JO workers to the KaSSSangga Collect Program.

Mr. Agas said their employers should subsidize the members’ monthly SSS contributions.

“They can shoulder the contribution payments of their chosen recipients for at least six months through the Contribution Subsidy Provider Program,” he said.

The SSS collected over P7.08 billion in contributions between 2015 and 2023 as a result of the program. — Aaron Michael C. Sy