By Franklin P. Gumapon

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 17 (PIA) – Some 1,000 families affected by the January 16 flashfloods in Barangay Lapasan here have received relief goods from the Social Security System (SSS) yesterday.

SSS Commissioner Jose Gabriel M. La Viña personally handed the goods consisting of five kilos rice, corned beef, beef loaf, noodles and sardines to the beneficiaries at the Lapasan Covered Court.

Atty. Edwin Alo, vice president for Northern Mindanao, said the beneficiaries were coming from the sitios hardest hit by the flashfloods two months ago.

Ricy Etang, 48, married with four children expressed his gratitude to the SSS for the help extended to the flood victims.

Myrna Valmoria, 58, barangay nutrition scholar, said she nearly drowned when the drainage canal near her house swelled with floodwaters. “I thank God for saving my life,” she declared.

Like Etang, Valmoria was also thankful to the SSS for the relief goods.

In a related development, Commissioner La Viña disclosed that the SSS had already released the recently approved P1,000 additional monthly benefit for each qualified SSS pensioner for January and February. The additional P1,000 benefit for March would be released today.

La Viña also allayed fears that the SSS funds get depleted due to the increase in benefits among pensioners. He, however, assured that “the SSS would be stronger under our watch.”

Meanwhile, the SSS aims to increase its coverage and be more efficient in collection.

Commissioner La Viña has vowed to run after employers who are delinquent in remitting the SSS premiums of their employees. “We will apply the full force of the law,” he concluded. (FPGumapon)