In an in-depth discussion, Heng Sophannarith, deputy head of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), expressed high hopes for the success of introducing the NSSF to self-employed individuals.

He highlighted the potential it holds to fortify the government's commitment to their social protection policy.

"Cambodia was the first country to introduce the NSSF for self-employed persons,” he said.

He said the service was rolled out between April and August 14, and since its introduction, more than 24,000 people have voluntarily registered, over 14,000 of them women.

As per data from the Ministry of Information, traders form the bulk of the registrants with over 13,000 registrations, followed by tuk-tuk drivers and construction workers at over 3,000 and 1,500 respectively as of August 17.

Elaborating on who the service aims to support, Sophannarith said: "The social security system for self-employed persons caters to those who work or earn independently.”

He noted that these individuals are not traditionally salaried by employers or the state, and they do not employ staff for their professional endeavours.

Reflecting on the adoption rate, he said: “Over the past few months, we've seen an upsurge in NSSF card registrations, now totalling over 20,000. Daily, we're registering between 500 to 600 people nationwide. Given this momentum, I'm optimistic about the project's success.”