Because am a bit of a night owl, I always end up rushing through my mornings since I could not seem to get up early enough. The result makes the taxi drivers happy considering I have to use them almost everyday now (the habit is hurting my purse badly.) The morning habit had me befriending some “suki” and we got to talking about their lives. Their woes are familiar to me considering my father was one of them for years in between his overseas works.
Since they mostly rent their taxis from the operators, they are not actually considered as employees but mere renters. Thus, the benefits that they should have were not given to them. It is common among taxi drivers to not have SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG and a health card. Most of them only know that their daily income goes straight to buy for their family’s food and for the children’s schooling. But leaving these benefits unpaid for are not good for somebody who is a breadwinner has no retirement plans or even health cards and has no other job options.
While riding the taxi, I mostly take my time in explaining them the experience I had with my father’s government benefits. He was actually luckier as he was employed in some private corporations that provided him the SSS and PhilHealth contributions. Only when he was in between jobs or when he was being a public vehicle driver that he stopped his contributions. The Pag-IBIG membership he had, I took the initiative to pay it along with my mother’s.
For SSS and PhilHealth, enrolling and continuing in the membership payment will help the member and his beneficiaries in times of sickness. When my father got sick, PhilHealth really helped in our medical bills. SSS monthly pension made our daily expenses less burdensome.
For Pag-IBIG membership, which can be withdrawn upon maturity or retirement age, it was a big surprise for us to receive the amount in lump sum with dividend earnings that is more than the usual bank interest and without tax deduction!
So, for those who are earning from work or business, even if it seems burdensome and unless you have millions stashed somewhere, it’s always imperative to get those memberships from SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG. Always, they could help and in some days, they could unexpectedly.