SSS urged to boost ‘computing capacity’ amid surge in online transactions

A lawmaker has urged the Social Security System (SSS) and other agencies to invest more aggressively in boosting their “computing capacities” so that they can deliver superior services to the public over the Internet.

Makati City representative Luis Campos Jr. said agencies providing frontline services should upgrade their computer and information systems to meet the rapidly growing public demand for easier and faster online transactions.

“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,” Campos said.

Campos made the statement as the SSS website entered its second week down, stalling claims for much-needed benefits as Pres. Rodrigo Duterte ordered a two-week extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to May 15 to fight the pandemic.

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 alterative 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,” says the SSS notice.

Campos 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,” Campos said.

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 on March 30, the SSS had said it is still working on enabling members to file claims for unemployment benefits online by the end of April.

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