Philippines Report

SSS nixes more job cuts

globol staff September 21, 2022 Business No Comments on SSS nixes more job cuts
SSS nixes more job cuts

State-run pension fund Social Security System (SSS) said there would be no more job losses even as the government moves forward with its plan to rightsize the bureaucracy.

SSS president and CEO Michael Regino said the rightsizing bill, which is on the top list of President Marcos’ legislative agenda, would not impact the pension fund’s workforce.

“We are doing this ahead, we are not even waiting for the bill. We see it as the way moving forward and we believe that we have to correct the plantilla number early on,” he said.

Regino said when he was promoted as president and CEO in March this year, the original plantilla position in SSS was at 13,000.

Upon review, it was found that SSS only needs up to 8,500.

“We reviewed it and I explained to them that we could not have 13,000 employees. We have to increase the productivity of each person and the level of digitalization. We were able to come up with 8,500,” Regino said.

“That’s the most efficient level, I believe, for the next three to four years. Do we need to review again after four years? Maybe.”

Currently, the SSS workforce is around 7,600 and is in the process of hiring more personnel especially in its branches and in its information technology (IT) section.

“As we continue digitizing and when we see more Filipinos are digitized and online, you would need less people in the branches, we may tap them to do other things,” Regino said.

The SSS is one of the government offices in the forefront of digitization. Last year, 72 percent of its transactions was digitized.

Last month, budget chief Amenah Pangandaman said the Department of Budget and Management had provided Congress with its version of the rightsizing bill.

Having the bill passed in Congress would give Marcos the power to reorganize the national government.

During his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos said the administration would prioritize the rightsizing of government bureaucracy by merging, splitting, transferring and abolishing some of its offices.

The program is a “reform mechanism that seeks to enhance the government’s institutional capacity to perform its mandate and provide better services, while ensuring optimal and efficient use of resources.”

The rightsizing plan aims to review 187 government agencies that employ some two million workers.

Once identified, the agencies will undergo streamlining and only then can the government determine the number of employees to be affected.

The proposal for rightsizing excludes teaching and teaching-related positions, medical and allied medical positions, and the military as well as other uniformed personnel.

The DBM earlier maintained that resources to be saved from the rightsizing plan can be allocated to other priority areas of the government such as infrastructure, social services, health, and agriculture, among others.

It noted that affected personnel may apply to positions that will be created as an effect of the rightsizing. The government will also provide a retooling program while those who will opt to retire will receive the appropriate benefits.

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