MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte (PIA) — The traditional way of saving money the Filipino way through the alkansiya gets a boost from the Social Security System (SSS) with the innovative Alkansssiya program.

Alkansiya and Alkansssya were basically the same, except for the three SSS letters which literally emphasized the initials for the state pension firm, which serves private sector employees and self-employed individuals.

But SSS’ Alkansssya offered something more: with a regular monthly premium of P 330.00 a fisherman or motorcab driver is entitled to benefits and services enjoyed by their employed counterparts, said Gregorio Baroza, Branch Manager of SSS-Southern Leyte office.

“The privileges and benefits are all the same, as long as they are active SSS members,” Baroza said during the Action Center Kapihan sa PIA cable TV program Wednesday, suggesting no differences in approach across various social classes.

As of now, five groups or associations have linked with the provincial SSS office, whose coverage includes several towns in Leyte, from Matalom to Inopacan, for the Alkansssiya program.

Baroza, who assumed as branch manager of the local branch in January this year, identified these groups as the Bato, Leyte, drivers group, and Ichon fishermen’s association, which were already active since last year, 2013 being the year Alkansssya was launched.

This year under Baroza’s watch, three more groups were added, two fishermen’s groups in barangay Asuncion, this city, and another at Sogod, Southern Leyte, each group comprising 120 members.

Baroza called on other similar organized groups not yet covered by SSS to avail of the Alkansssya scheme.

PIA inspected the one at Asuncion which was established only last May this year, and took pictures (posted and can be accessed at pia-southernleyte facebook timeline).

As it is, the Alkansssya looked like steel vaults secured with keys, each vault marked with name of an individual. At month’s end, random deposits are collected by authorized SSS personnel, witnessed by barangay officials.

Aside from the manual Alkansssya, SSS also promotes the electronic or e-Alkansssya, and this pertains to coverage for job order and contractual workers in government not qualified to be listed by GSIS.

Baroza said the city local government unit of Maasin and the provincial government expressed willingness on the idea, especially that a memorandum of agreement with the DILG and SSS on this matter was already signed.

The island-municipality of Limasawa was already into it, enrolling their job order employees and contractual workers with the SSS, Baroza also said. (AJC/MMP/PIA8-Southern Leyte)