By Ellson Quismorio
Stressing that online transactions are the future, Makati City 2nd district Rep. Luis Campos Jr. is prodding the Social Security System (SSS) and other agencies to invest more aggressively in boosting their “computing capacities.”
“With or without the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of public transactions is clearly electronic and online – not over-the-counter in brick-and-mortar agency branches,” reckoned Campos, an Appropriations Committee vice chairman.
According to him, agencies providing frontline services “should upgrade their computer and information systems to meet the rapidly growing public demand for easier and faster online transactions.”
Campos made the appeal as the SSS website entered its second week down, stalling the processing of claims for much-needed benefits even as President Duterte ordered a two-week extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from May 1 to May 15 for high-risk areas.
The Makati solon urged the SSS, Pag-IBIG Fund, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., Government Service Insurance System, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to improve and expand the transactions that their respective members can conveniently perform online.
“Dependable round-the-clock online facilities are crucial to delivering uninterrupted services to the public,” he said.
A notice posted on the SSS website says: “Please be advised that the SSS website (sss.gov.ph) has been on downtime since April 18, 2020. While we expected higher online traffic due to the launch of the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS), the overwhelming response to this program surpassed the computing capacity of the system.”
“We are urgently updating our site to accommodate this surge. In the meantime, we will be sending out emails for alternative application arrangements to SBWS-eligible employers whose email addresses are on file and have been deemed compliant with both BIR and SSS regulations. We will inform the public as soon as the website is operational. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope for your understanding,” the SSS notice added.
The SSS is also supposed to be accepting and processing claims for unemployment insurance payments from workers involuntarily separated from their jobs due to the pandemic.
However, in a statement issued last March 30, the SSS said it was still working on enabling members to file claims for unemployment benefits online by the end of April.