More than 250,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) residing in the western provinces of Canada may now visit the newly opened Social Security System (SSS) foreign extension office located at the office of the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Calgary to inquire, file, or avail themselves of the services offered by the pension fund.
The SSS Calgary foreign extension office, the second in Canada, was opened last June in line with the Calgary PCG’s celebration of Philippine Independence Day.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the newly-opened extension office will serve about 270,000 Filipinos located in Alberta, British Columbia, and other western provinces of Canada.
“We are expecting to reach more Filipinos for their continuing social security coverage under our programs with the opening of the new extension office in Calgary. Considering that the Filipino population in Canada now stands at more than 660,000 based on its latest census data, the newly-opened office will cater to the SSS needs of around 40 percent of our kababayans in the area. We are very thankful to the Consulate for sharing an office space for our operations,” Dooc said.
The remaining 60 percent of Filipinos in the eastern provinces of Canada will continue to be served by the SSS Toronto foreign representative office.
A memorandum of agreement between SSS and the PCG was signed, providing the pension fund an office space consisting of a service counter and a staff room inside the Calgary PCG premises.
“Our Calgary office started its operations last month, initially as an extension office under the supervision of our representative in SSS Toronto. To date, we already have 23 SSS foreign offices in top destination countries, with offices located at the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General/Overseas Labor Offices,” Dooc said.
The launching ceremony was highlighted by a ceremonial ribbon cutting, led by Social Security Commissioners Gonzalo Duque and Anita Quitain, with SSS Account Management Group Senior Vice President and International Operations Group Concurrent OIC Judy Frances See, and PCG Consul General Julius Torres.
SSS program briefing and onsite services for the Filipino communities in Alberta and British Columbia were also conducted by the SSS management team during their visit in Canada in order to encourage active SSS membership and also promote the new SSS Calgary extension office.
The services cater to Filipino migrant workers and overseas Filipinos, including former Filipinos who are now Canadian citizens, with or without dual-citizenship.(PR)