MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS), the state-run pension fund for private employees, will provide social protection to jail inmates by expanding its micro-savings scheme.
The SSS savings program, dubbed as AlkanSSSya, would now include inmates who earn a living from making handicrafts while inside correctional facilities, SSS president and chief executive officer Emilio De Quiros Jr. said.
Through the program, participants can put their savings for their monthly SSS contributions. Each AklanSSSya unit can store the SSS savings of up to 160 members.
Under the program, members can contribute a minimum of P312 per month or roughly P10 a day.
“Inmates have proven that they can still be productive despite incarceration by creating bags, rags and other handicrafts. With the program, they can now save even when in prison and look forward to getting social protection from SSS in the future,” De Quiros said in a statement.
Aside from inmates, participants also include those who stopped contributing to SSS after entering the correctional facility.
De Quiros said an initial batch of 80 female inmates would benefit from the SSS micro-finance program launched by the pension fund inside the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Quezon City Female Dormitory on Feb. 26.
There are currently about 500 female inmates with pending cases who are housed in the QC Female Dormitory and who could potentially join the SSS program, the agency also said.
Prior to the inclusion of inmates to the program, hundreds of garbage pickers also joined the program last December.
“We are thankful to the Quezon City government for their support for the AlkanSSSya program. Hopefully, AlkanSSSya will be adopted by more prisons and correctional facilities,” De Quiros said.
Source: By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star)