THE POLICY-MAKING BODY of the Social Security System (SSS) is set to conduct a nationwide survey to plug coverage gaps and improve social protection.

In a statement sent to reporters on Thursday, the Social Security Commission said it hired a third-party service provider to conduct a detailed nationwide survey.

“The project’s purpose is to identify the segment of the population that should benefit from social security protection but are not yet receiving any,” Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive officer, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“We need to know the socio-demographic profile and the level of vulnerability to life’s contingencies such as economic hardships or disasters of both those covered and not covered by SSS, especially those from the informal sector,” she added.

The survey will cover 4,000 respondents nationwide, including those from far-flung areas.

It is expected to yield additional data not available in databases of other agencies.

These include sources of income across income classes as well as the socio-demographic characteristics of the untapped workforce in the provincial, city or municipality and barangay levels.

“The initiative is designed towards the realization of the pension fund’s vision to provide universal and equitable social protection,” the statement read.

The survey is aligned with the goals indicated in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 to reduce vulnerability of individuals, as well as the goal to improve protection programs under President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda.

In 2018, the SSS collected P212.63 billion in revenues, broken down into P181.92 billion in members’ contribution and P30.71 billion in investment and other income.

Total expenditures, on the other hand, stood at P189.88 billion, on the back of P180.08 billion in benefit payments and P9.8 billion in operating expenses. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal