"We assure you that your PHILSSA will be there to stand up and deliver what our members expect from us."
Thus said Dr. Rey B. Aquino, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine HealthInsurance Corporation (PhilHealth) during the recent induction ceremony for the new set of officers of the Philippine Social Security Association (PHILSSA) which he now chairs.
The officers, from the Executive Board and Technical Working Committee, took their oath before Vice President Jejomar C. Binay at the Bayanihan Center in Pasig City. As the event's Keynote Speaker, Binay reminded PHILSSA member-agencies that "...lagi nating isipin ang kapakanan ng ating mga pinaglilingkuran" and that "ang kaginhawahan natin bilang mga kawani ng gobyerno ay pumapangalawa lamang sa kaginhawahan ng mga mamamayan na ating pinaglilingkuran," he said.
Robert Vergara, Outgoing PHILSSA Chair and President and General Manager of the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) turned over the chairmanship to Aquino while Maria Fe Dayco, GSIS Senior Vice President turned over the Secretary-General portfolio to Octavino Q. Esguerra, PhilHealth Senior Vice President for Management Services Sector. Emilio S. de Quiros, Jr., President and CEO of the Social Security System (SSS) and Evelyn F. Tablang, Executive Director of the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) took their oath of office as Vice Chairman and Treasurer, respectively.
Also inducted to office as members of PHILSSA were Atty. Darlene Berberabe, Chief Executive Officer of Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF); Atty. Jose Ferdinand Rojas III, General Manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO); and Vice Admiral Emilio Marayag, Jr., President of the Armed Forces of the Phillippines - Retirement and Separation Benefits System (AFP-RSBS). The newly-elected PHILSSA officers shall have a term of office until June 30, 2013.
Aquino emphasized the importance of having a social security association in the country to establish close ties among national social security institutions for better coordination of benefits and services that they provide to the population, and to share each other's expertise and good practices in the area of social protection.
Inspired by PHILSSA's vision of creating a happy and satisfied workforce enjoying the total social security protection of the Philippine Government, Aquino said that "...pinagkatiwalaan po ninyo kami para sa inyong kalusugan, at higit para sa inyong kinabukasan. Wala po kaming tanging hangad kundi ang maging tapat na maglingkod sa inyo at ihatid ang ibayong serbisyo sa aming mga miyembro."
Around 350 guests gathered at the Bayanihan Center to witness the oath-taking ceremony, considered a milestone in Philippine social security. Choirs from the member-agencies serenaded the guests, while celebrity Allona also sang a few songs. (Glomeda C. Pactores, PAD)