Speech by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. at the SSS 65th Anniversary Balikat ng Bayan Awards

Speeches 30 September 2022

Papaano ‘yan, dapat ang pasasalamat ko, “Thank you for your introduction DOLE Secretary Bienvenido E.” [laughter] Sorry, Sec. Benny hindi ako nakatiis. Please take your seat.

Kaya laging masarap kasama ang ating DOLE Secretary eh, dahil marami laging nangyayari kapag kami’y nagkasama.

The Special Assistant to the Office of the President Secretary Anton Lagdameo; the SSS President, Chief Executive Officer Michael Regino and the other officials and staff of this agency; the Social Security System Commissioner Diana Pardo-Aguilar; and of course all the other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

Well, it is an important day that we are commemorating and I am pleased to be with you all to celebrate the 65th Founding Anniversary of the Social Security System.

For more than six decades, the SSS has been 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.

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.

I, of course, commend the SSS for its hardworking officials that have been working — many of you are — most of you are career officers and have been there from the very beginning of your professional careers and the experience and the professionalism that you show is testament to that.

You are hardworking, your personnel have dedication in ensuring the institution’s stability and reliability and most importantly the service that you provide to our people.

You personify the essence of a government that is at the end of the day always ready, reliable, no matter what the circumstances.

I, of course, ask you to keep up the good work and 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.

I was reading a briefer earlier. You’ll have to excuse me, talagang… Kasi magka-birthday tayo ng SSS eh. [laughter and applause] 1957 din ako, kaya’t marami na akong retirement benefit na pwedeng abangan.

No, but, I would just like to quote these programs that we have just begun, since this new administration began. The implementation of the Contribution Subsidy Provider Program. Inaalalayan natin ‘yung mga hindi masyado makapagbayad at naghahanap tayo ng paraan para hindi naman siya – hindi naman sila masyadong mabigat ang kanilang hinaharap na pangangailangan, especially during the pandemic.

Also, the scheme — the flexible payment scheme for fishermen and farmers. Alam naman natin na dito sa pandemyang ito, sila talaga ang tinamaan nang husto at sila ang nais natin gustong tulungan dahil sila ang pundasyon ng ating ekonomiya, sila ang nagbubuhay sa ating lahat.

Kaya’t itong tulong na ibinibigay ng SSS ay napakalaking bagay. Hindi lamang sa mga fishermen at saka mga farmers, kung hindi sa buong – sa lahat ng mga Pilipino. Dahil sa pagtulong sa ating agrikultura, sa pagtulong sa ating food supply, ay tumutulong tayo sa lahat ng Pilipino.

The other program that I took note of was the Contribution Penalty Condonation Program for business and household employers. Kailangan na kailangan nila ito. They needed this very much because alam naman natin kung ano ‘yung mga naging sitwasyon ng ating mga employers.

To be fair to our employers in the private sector ay talaga namang ay ginawa talaga nilang lahat ng kaya nilang gawin para hindi bitawan ‘yung kanilang mga empleyado, para hindi – para kahit papaano may maibigay kahit kalahati lang nung sahod nila maibigay nila, kahit food pack.

So maganda nga itong naitulong natin sa kanila para naman ay gumaan na naman nang konti. And that is precisely the idea behind any insurance scheme. And that is exactly what SSS is supposed to do – provide these safety nets for our people, not only during crisis like the pandemic or pagka may giyera sa Ukraine, kung hindi ‘yung pang-araw-araw, ‘yung pang-araw-araw na buhay ng ating mga private employees.

At the other one that I wanted to take note of was the Consolidated Loan Program with the condonation penalty – ito ‘yung ating ginagawa na para itong mga ating – ‘yung mga hindi… Ganun din, ‘yung hindi makapagbayad ay ginagawan natin ng paraan. So that the employees, the employers will still enjoy the benefits of the insurance system that we have put together and to which everybody contributes and therefore dapat naman ay makita nila ‘yung benepisyo doon sa kanilang ibinabayad.

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. The job that you are doing is exactly the job that we had asked you to do – to provide the safety nets, to provide the guarantees for our people, when tragedy strikes, when crisis strikes, and when people are just going about their daily business.

So I encourage you all to always embody excellence in all that you do and put the best interest of the Filipino people above everything else in your endeavors.

I would likewise want to take this opportunity to congratulate the recipients of the Balikat ng Bayan Awards this year. Well done. Keep up the good work.

Because of you, the SSS is able to carry out its mandate, efficiently, smoothly through the strong partnerships that you have formed with the agency and with your clientele.

May this recognition inspire you and the others to work more, to work even harder with the government, in order to uplift the lives of our citizenry.

Of course, I express my gratitude to the members of the SSS for their hard work, their devotion, their contributions to this institution.

It is only fitting that this year’s theme puts great emphasis on this simple yet important act, as it is through this that the SSS becomes 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.

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.

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 to which the SSS will bring its services closer to its members and make a positive impact in the communities that you serve.

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.

Once again, congratulations to you all on the 65th anniversary commemoration of the SSS. Thank you for your service. Keep up the good work.

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat! Mabuhay ang SSS! Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. [applause]

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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)