Feb 092013

MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS), the state-run provident fund for private employees, has signed an agreement with a local irrigators association in Nueva Ecija to subsidize farmers’ contributions to the agency.

In an agreement signed last month between Deep Well Sumulong Irrigators Association of Nueva Ecija and SSS covering 185 farmers, the association would provide a counterpart amount that would match its members’ monthly SSS contribution.

As a result, the monthly contributions of member farmers to the SSS would double, SSS president and chief executive officer Emilio de Quiros Jr. said.

“In effect, the subsidy will double the amount of the farmers’ SSS contributions,” De Quiros said.

SSS contributions range from P104 to P1,560 every month depending on the member’s monthly earnings.

If, for instance, the farmer saves P156 as SSS contribution a month, the association would add P156 as counterpart subsidy, for a total of P312 that will be credited to the farmer’s SSS account.

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“The subsidy serves as additional motivation for farmers to save up for their future. The more they save, the more they will receive in counterpart funds for their contributions,” De Quiros said.

Furthermore, the SSS chief said the arrangement with the association ensures convenient and regular remittance of the farmers’ SSS premiums because the association will do it for them.

The association will use the cash incentives granted by the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) to associations that have shown efficient collection of farmers’ payments and active maintenance of their irrigation system.

The DWSIA has 185 farmer-members tending a total of 218.55 hectares in farmlands.

The SSS hopes to replicate the agreement in the rest of Central Luzon which has roughly 69,000 farmers.

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