President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (Screengrab from RTVM)

MANILA – President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Friday pledged to seek ways to help the state insurer Social Security System (SSS) become more efficient and productive.

Marcos made the vow during the 65th anniversary celebration of the SSS held at the Ramon Magsaysay Hall of the state social insurance firm's building in East Avenue, Quezon City.

"As your president, I assure you that I commit myself to every initiative that will improve the efficiency and productivity of the SSS and thereby improve the lot and welfare of our people," Marcos said in his keynote speech. "With a strong, stable, and secure SSS, I see a better and brighter future not only for its members but also for the entire country."

The SSS was established on Sept. 1, 1957 by virtue of the Social Security Act of 1954 to serve as a government financial institution that provides social security protection to all Filipino workers.

Marcos stressed that for over six decades, the SSS has become "a bastion of stability for every Filipino in the private sector."

"And the SSS has done this by empowering our employees with equitable and world-class protection, ensuring that they will have a safety net during life's most difficult moments," he said.

"It is only fitting that as we look back at the rich history of the SSS, we highlight the achievements, your achievements in expanding membership coverage, providing enhanced benefits, improving your service capabilities to your stakeholders, and all the other services and products that you provide," Marcos added.

Marcos also lauded the SSS officials and employees for their hard work and dedication to ensuring the institution's stability and reliability.

The SSS, he said, proves that the government is "always ready [and] reliable, no matter what the circumstances [are]."

"I ask you to keep up the good work. I can see that the SSS still has within its DNA, the continuing service that you are giving and the sensitivity that you show to the actual conditions of our people," Marcos said.

Marcos also hailed the "timely" implementation of the SSS' programs, which include the Contribution Subsidy Provider Program, Flexible Payment Scheme for Fishermen and Farmers, the Contribution Penalty Condonation Program, and the Consolidated Loan Program.

He said the SSS is able to fulfill its mandate of providing safety nets and guarantees for the Filipino people, especially those who are in difficult situations.

"With programs like these, which are timely, which are sensitive, which are aware of the condition of our employees, that is then the SSS has much reason to celebrate its 65th birthday, because the job that you have been doing continues to be of great value to our people," he said.

Marcos also thanked the SSS members for their contributions, making the state insurer a "force that makes a difference in nation-building and ensures that every Filipino contributor can reap the benefits of their labor well into the future."

He expressed optimism that the SSS would continue to embody excellence and give importance to the Filipino people's best interest.

"The SSS’ critical role in strengthening our country’s social protection is more crucial, now more than ever. With the country recovering from the pandemic, with the country trying to recover from the shocks that are coming from the geopolitical situation around the world, still I am truly excited to see more ways in which the SSS will bring its services closer to its members and make a positive impact in the communities that you serve," Marcos said.

This year's theme for SSS anniversary celebration is "Kontribusyong Pinag-ipunan, Proteksyong Maaasahan," which aims to foster better future through the values of work, save, invest and prosper.

SSS has also launched innovative programs to benefit its members, ensure social security coverage for the informal economy workers and help its members save more for their retirement, among others. (PNA)