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New SSS partnerships for the direct release of sickness, maternity
and EC benefits to members' bank accounts



Top officials from the Social Security System (SSS) and 25 partner banks participated in the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the expanded coverage of the Sickness, Maternity and Employees' Compensation Payment thru the Bank (SMEC-PB) Program during ceremonies held at the Ramon Magsaysay Hall of the SSS main office in Diliman, Quezon City on April 19.

SMEC-PB provides for the direct release of sickness, maternity and Employees Compensation (EC) benefit payments to the members' automated teller machine (ATM), current or savings accounts. It offers a faster, easier, safer and more convenient means of releasing cash benefits to SSS self-employed and voluntary members, non-working spouses, overseas Filipino workers and employee-members separated from employment.

For the agreement signatories, the new payment scheme helps SSS reduce its operational procedures and expenses from check printing and mailing, while the accredited banks can further expand their clientele through new bank accounts. Previously, SSS made it mandatory to employers to enroll in the sickness and maternity benefit payment thru-the-bank (SMB-PB) program to receive SSS reimbursements for their employees' sickness and maternity benefits.

Photo shows SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr. (seated, 4th from right) together with (seated, from left) General Accounting Department Manager II Belinda B. Ella; Assistant Vice President for Sickness, Maternity and Disability Benefits Administration Department Jocelyn M. Evangelista; Vice President for Benefits Administration Division Agnes E. San Jose, and Commissioner for General Public Michael Victor N. Alimurung.

Also in photo are the representatives of SSS partner banks, namely Asia United Bank, Bank of Commerce, China Banking Corporation, CityState Savings Bank Inc., Country Builders Bank Inc., CTBC Bank Corporation, Development Bank of the Philippines, East West Bank, First Consolidated Bank, Innovative Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, Merchant Savings Bank, One Network Bank, Phil Bank of Communications, Philippine Business Bank, Philippine Savings Bank, Philippine National Bank, PNB Savings Bank, Philippine Veterans Bank, Postbank Savings Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Security Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Union Bank of the Philippines and United Coconut Planters Bank. Century Savings Bank, Guagua Rural Bank and Philippine Trust Company will also participate in the SMEC-PB Program.