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SSS clarifies: Not a subsidy for operations

WE WANT to thank you for your support in helping the Social Security System (SSS) further raise the awareness of our members and the general public through the publication of stories about SSS.

However, we would like to clarify one of the statements in the column article by Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. entitled, “Public finance and UPSE’s PDE batch 33,” published in BusinessWorld today, June 7, 2022 (https://bit.ly/Oplas060722).

Mr. Oplas discussed the “three elephants in the room” in public finance in the article. One of which is the endless subsidies to government corporations and financial institutions. He cited SSS as an example after the national government gave SSS P51 billion in 2020.

We want to inform him that the P51 billion given to SSS in 2020 was not a subsidy for the agency’s operation. The amount was intended and paid for the wage subsidies to over three million workers nationwide under the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program.

SSS only served as the primary conduit for releasing the wage subsidies to workers of small businesses.

The SBWS is a joint program by SSS, the Department of Finance (DoF), and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that provided wage subsidies to workers affected by COVID-19. It extended financial assistance to small and medium business enterprises affected by the pandemic and the nationwide enhanced community quarantine from March 2020 onwards, which affected the employment of those working in the private sector.

Workers of small businesses who lost their income while their respective areas were under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) received a wage subsidy in two tranches ranging from P5,000 to P8,000, based on their respective areas of residence.

We want to emphasize that SSS is not receiving any subsidy from the national government for its operation. SSS remains financially viable in providing benefits to its stakeholders and is not on the verge of bankruptcy.

In this regard, may we kindly request to rectify the statement to avoid misconceptions from our members and employers that the national government is subsidizing SSS.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify this matter.

Sincerely yours,
Fernando F. NicolasVice-President, NCR North Division Concurrent Acting Head,
Public Affairs and Special Events Division

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