THE Social Security System (SSS) in Northern Luzon failed to reach a 100 percent collection as it recorded a 96 percent for 2009.

SSS Vice President for Northern Luzon Luis Olais said the agency collected P2,184,056,000 on contributions and delinquencies.

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The target of SSS for 2009 was P2.281 billion.

Olais said SSS has a deficit of four percent when it comes to reaching the target.

He said deficit can be attributed to the economic crisis and the retrenchment of employees, adding that SSS is yet to come up with the target for the year.

"We will be planning for the target next week. The target for the year 2010 will definitely be higher compared to last year's target," Olais said.

He also said the big contributors last year were Texas Instruments, Philex Mining Corporation, Sitel, and educational institutions.

The official said the agency is waiting for the implementation of the Unified Multipurpose Identification Card (Umic) system, which will serve as a multipurpose ID for SSS, GSIS, and Philhealth members.

Olais said there are also ongoing talks to make the Umic a voter's ID. (Visha Calventas)