State-run Social Security System (SSS) is urging riders in food delivery and courier activities to become self-employed members to enjoy various benefit programs and loan privileges offered by the pension fund.

Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive officer said that undeniably, among many industries, the digital platform delivery sector has one of the fastest and most extensive growths in recent years, especially during the pandemic.

“We have realized that this population comprised of our delivery riders has greatly helped our citizens in purchasing and getting their goods or services without going out of their respective homes,” Igancio said.

“Considering the high risk of their profession by being in the field most of the time, they need a solid protection that in cases of contingencies, they can have something to turn to,” she added.

Many delivery riders of various digital platform companies are classified as independent contractors or freelancers.

Consequently, they are not considered regular employees of the company, which disqualify them from benefits that employees typically receive under the country’s labor and social security laws.

Ignacio emphasized that it is essential that while they are doing their delivery activities, they have financial protection from any unforeseen events or times of contingencies.

“We encourage them to become SSS members or to continue their membership under the Self-Employed Coverage Program. SSS is the most affordable and meaningful savings option which can provide them with several types of benefits,” she added.

During the recent virtual forum entitled “Proteksyong SSS Para sa Delivery Riders,” the value of Social Security and Employees’ Compensation Programs for delivery riders was further discussed.

Professional Sector Department Acting Head Carlo Villacorta explained that delivery riders must be appropriately classified as self-employed members to have the most effective financial protection against risks brought by constant exposure to various elements.

As self-employed SSS members, they will be entitled to social security benefits such as sickness, maternity, retirement, disability, funeral, and death. Likewise, they shall become eligible for loan programs which include salary, calamity, educational assistance, among others.

They will also have additional coverage from the Employees’ Compensation (EC) Program for work-related contingencies such as sickness, disability, death and funeral, medical and rehabilitation services.

The ECP provides them and their dependents with an extra layer of protection from work-related contingencies, aside from their SSS coverage.

Currently, the SSS contribution rate stands at 13 percent, and the monthly salary credit (MSC) used to determine the amount of monthly contribution ranges from P3,000 to P25,000.

The lowest monthly contribution is P400, broken down into P390 for the regular Social Security (SS) Program and P10 for the EC Program.

Meanwhile, the highest monthly contribution is P3,280, broken down into P2,600 for the regular SS Program, P30 for the EC Program, and P650 for the Workers’ Investment Savings Program (WISP).

Source: Manila Bulletin (