Round Table discussion held on social security benefits and reform program

“The Social Security Board is striving to become a superior organization offering better healthcare and improved management, which employers and workers can rely on”:

U Maung Maung Aye, Director-General

  • By Khin Yadanar
    Photo: May Oo Moe

Talk copy

(Continued from yesterday’s Article)

The MRTV broadcast a round table discussion as Part Three on social security benefits and the reform program. The panelists are U Maung Maung Aye, Director-General of Social Security Board (SSB), Daw Than Than Nu, Director of SSB, U Win Naing, Employers’ Representative, Daw Phyo Sandar Soe, Workers’ Representative, and Dr. Thein Than Htay, ILO National Project Coordinator.
Moderator: Please explain the point of view on behalf of the employers.
Employer’s Representative: The plans and the programs are fine as the IT reform seemed to be very much instrumental. Sometimes, the employers encountered whether the workers were actually registered with SSB or otherwise as some of the citizen registration cards have been transferred from one person to another.
Therefore, it is difficult to get the SSB registration card for the worker. The intended reforms are very much beneficial as the employers are expecting and waiting for the medical reform as the workers would have the opportunity in taking medical treatment with much convenience and ease.
Moderator: Thank you. Kindly share the view from the workers’ representative.
Workers’ Representative: We welcomed the reforms and that I would like to urge our fellow workers in catching up with the newly introduced applications digital methods for workers benefits. Now, we could not stay behind these modern method and system as it could bring the advantages with ease and comfort.
In the future, the incoming and the outgoing mails would be delivered through the electronic system by using g-mail and e-mail making the moves faster and also saved money. At that juncture, our fellow workers must join in the loop and catch up the system in time. Another factor that I would like to discuss is on the legal reform as the matter has been agreed between the employers, the workers and the government.
The definition and the interpretation on the terms such as the workers and the employers should be on a par with the modern time. Although our workers are left behind from the average norm of world standard, we could take advantage from such poor situation as we could avoid the mistakes that other workers foreign countries have had encountered.
We could shun away such errors and we could also transform ourselves into the right track. Our fellow workers must read more for knowledge and must have reform minded so that all workers could come together in crafting the principles, policies and guidelines. This information must be disseminated to all workers. For instance, we have technical experts in the affairs of the workers. On our part, we are not skillful and well versed on these subjects, but what we have in our hands could be utilized by working together.
Moderator: As we are talking about the reform, we would like to hear from the point of view of the ILO National Project Coordinator.
ILO Representative: We are deeply involved in the reform process, and that I am of the view that the existing social security system was conceived and inherited last (60) years ago, however, the current scheme is moving ahead with the new enacted law.
In 2012-2013, the number of registered social security workers was (700,000) only, and that in April 2014, the number jumped to double within four years and stands out as (1.25) million. However, the number of staff members remained the same, and the speed and momentum of the existing system never accelerated in high gear. The social security organization is not a short term organization, but would stay on forever as long as the Union of Myanmar existed.
The contribution of the workers is to be maintained from year one to year sixty. Among the three types of social security categories, the family security category covers for (36) months contribution, and that in the calculation, it would take time to browse (36) sheets of documents. Imagine, if we have to put the bulky documents into a chart, and that we all understand the matter very well.
IT system
In cooperation and collaboration with the ILO, we are going to set up the IT system as the reform plan with the international norm, a laudable scheme of the SSB, which is to be used by the employers as well as the workers.
The project would be operational in three years time, a multi-purpose system with all the information being provided by the employers that would be flowing into the SSB network for the benefits of the workers. The data and information in the system could be shared by all parties, and therefore, the system is collective in nature being agreed to implement by all sides. In the administrative reform, we need to update the (60) years old procedures, and have plans to start pilot projects in Yangon and Mandalay with some relaxation of difficult procedures.
Challenges
When the IT reform is put in place, we would be able to handle pension cases, no matter whether it is five million workers or eight million workers, and that we also need to tackle by amending the law.
Finally, the series of reform such as the IT reform, the Administrative reform and then the legal reform are to be carried out without fail. At the same time, the medical reform must be considered as advised by the ILO. It should be handled in unhurried pace so as to avoid the pitfalls of other countries by taking lessons from them.
Our reform pattern of the SSB is reasonable as the employers, the workers, and the government agreed in implementing the plan, and that, in a few years time our social security system could open a new chapter in its chronicle.
Moderator: Please share the possible benefits after the reform.
Director-General: After completion of the reform, the benefits would go to the employers, the workers, and the government as all the establishments such as the SSB Headquarters, the branch offices, the hospitals, and the clinics in the country would be hooked up and looped in the IT network, resulting with faster case works and smooth and easy functioning.
For example, the delivery of benefits, the condition of medical treatment, and the new contract with the private modern clinics would be all there in the system for the good of the workers.
Our paper based office system would be transformed into electronic based office system, which could have fresh streamlined design into the system of the government. Our law would be much similar with the international norm so that healthcare delivery is going to be better.
The contribution from the side of the employer as well as the registration of the workers would be faster due to e- payment system.
Better Service
The workers would be able to enjoy better healthcare service from 8 am to 8 pm from the clinics that we have signed with the private sector, resulting with the confidence and trust of the workers.
The workers would be happy in good health, shouldering the work performance with much better conditions, benefiting to all sides. In conclusion, I would like to say that the SSB is working hard for the success of the social projects, and that the drawbacks and the necessary tasks are being considered for solution.
When all the stakeholders such as the employers, the workers, and the government come together with the collaboration of the ILO, the aspired social security scheme would envelop the entire nationals in full confidence of the workers.
Our endeavors and objectives include better healthcare service delivery, tactful office management, and creating reliable organization of workers and employers.
In the past, our organization was centered and made focus on “SSB centric”, and now we have transformed into “client centric”, and that is my message to all relevant people in the nation.

(End of round table discussion)
Translated by UMT (Ahlon)

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