The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has received nearly 1,000 registrations from self-employed tuk-tuk drivers under a pilot project. Officials have called on more drivers to come forward and register.

The project, announced on March 27, means that drivers would be eligible for public health insurance and other benefits from April 1, provided they have registered with the NSSF.

“Since registration began on April 1, a total of 972 self-employed drivers have come forward. None of them has accessed healthcare yet, as their applications have just been processed,” NSSF deputy director-general Heng Sophannarith told The Post.

He said the pilot project will serve as a case study for expanding social security coverage to all self-employed individuals in Cambodia.

“This is one of the government’s most important contributions to public health and social protection. I call on all of the capital’s tuk-tuk drivers to register as NSSF members, as there are many benefits,” he added.

In order to register as a member, tuk-tuk drivers need to bring their national identity and vehicle identification cards to the NSSF headquarters. The monthly contribution has been set at 15,600 riel (around $3.85).

“After paying contributions for two consecutive months, they will be able to access medical services in NSSF-accredited health centres and clinics, as well as maternity and emergency services.

The pilot project is the result of cooperation between the NSSF and GRET, with the support of French development agency AFD. It aims to achieve an integrated social protection system for informal economy workers such as tuk-tuk drivers and domestic workers, who currently account for more than 65 per cent of the Cambodia economy.

Emmanuel Dollfus, AFD Cambodia deputy director, described the project as a fantastic achievement.

“It is great news that the NSSF is expanding, and integrating informal economy workers into the Kingdom’s social security net,” he said.

“Expanding the coverage and adequacy of social protection is a priority task,” he added.

Damien Thibaut, deputy director-general of GRET, who are assisting with the implementation of the project, said: “It will increase solidarity among the people as well as ensuring a cohesive society, while also contributing to human resource development and the achievement of Cambodia’s sustainable development goals.”