SSS members to get multipurpose, hi-tech cards soon

By Marjorie Gorospe

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA--The Social Security System (SSS) has started producing a “modernized” members’ identification card that would facilitate various transactions and protect the institution from fraud.

The new Unified Multipurpose Identification System or “UMID” card has a contact-less chip and a magnetic stripe and aside from identification purposes, can be a transaction card that can eventually be used in withdrawing benefits and loan proceeds from automated teller machines, the SSS said in its website.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said the institution would start issuing the new cards free to members before the end of the month. “Members who have been waiting for their IDs after SSS card production stopped on April 2010 would be the first to get UMID cards,” the official said.

According to the SSS, its card production facility broke down in 2010 after more than 10 years in operation. It issued 11 million cards since it started production in 1998.

De Quiros said other government agencies including the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation have joined the UMID system, which means easy and convenient transactions for members.

“Other state agencies can also join the UMID, which uses biometric technology and fingerprint matching to determine a person's identity, so more people can reap its benefits,” he said.

De Quiros said card production started at 5,000 cards per day, but daily output would increase to maximum capacity of 20,000 cards so that the agency can eliminate its backlog.

“We have a backlog of about 600,000 IDs. We expect to eliminate it in two months,” he said.

De Quiros said the 11 million members who were issued IDs since 1998 can still use it in transacting with the agency, but those seeking replacement for lost IDs will be charged a replacement fee of P300.

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