SSS sends inspectors to construction sites

The Social Security System (SSS) has sent out field inspectors to construction sites and other high-risk work areas to check the employment status of workers and ensure their protection from work-related accidents as provided by law, a top official said.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros Jr. said SSS account officers have been directed to make a headcount and look into the payroll of contractors and sub-contractors to make sure that workers have SSS coverage.

"We are being proactive because construction workers are vulnerable," De Quiros said. "SSS coverage is invaluable to construction and factory workers, security guards and employees in high-risk industries."

The social security law provides compensation for sickness, maternity, disability, retirement and death. For work-related accidents, workers get additional benefits under the Employees’ Compensation program, which is also administered by the SSS.

At least 10 construction workers died and one seriously injured late last month when they fell from the 32nd floor of a high-rise building in Makati City. Investigation showed they were not reported for SSS coverage by their employers.

De Quiros said he ordered SSS account officers to make door-to-door visits of factories and construction sites to check if the workers have SSS coverage and the companies were up-to-date in remitting contribution payments.

"We also urge workers to report to SSS if their employers are negligent in their obligations," he said. "Erring employers face fines and imprisonment of up to 12 years."

De Quiros called on families of workers who died in the Makati accident to get in touch with SSS Vice President for NCR Operations Group Naciancino Monreal in the SSS main office in Quezon City to facilitate processing of their benefits.

Monreal can be reached at telephone number 920-6401 local 5813.

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