SSS clamps down on erring employers

Posted at 03/11/2012 3:16 PM | Updated as of 03/11/2012 3:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines --The Social Security System (SSS) is stepping up efforts against employers that do not remit the contributions of their employees.

The agency said it is eyeing to sue more companies that are delinquent in their payments.

Last year, the number of companies the agency sued has risen to 1,227 or a 66%increase from only 740 cases filed in 2010.

SSS president and chief executive officer Emilio de Quiros Jr. said that there are at least nine out of every 10 employers sued by the agency that did not remit contributions of employees to the pension fund.

According to SSS estimates, the total contributions which these delinquent companies failed to remit last year amounted to P460.52 million, which include penalties of over P217 million.

“SSS also collected more than P360 million in overdue contributions last year from delinquent employers through legal action. We will continue to step up our filing of cases this year to send a strong message to employers that they must obey the law,” de Quiros said.

Other companies failed to register their workers for SSS coverage and also refused to show company records to the pension fund’s account officers.

Employers who failed to remit employees contributions or register their workers for SSS coverage face penalties and imprisonment of six to 12 years for violations of the SSS charter.

According to de Quiros, the law mandates employers to register their new workers for SSS coverage within 30 days from start of employment.

Delinquent employers also face a three percent monthly penalty for overdue premiums.

As part of efforts to address the problem, the pension fund is implementing the Loan Penalty Condonation Program for Individual Members.

Under the program, which starts on April 2, members whose amortizations were deducted from their monthly salaries but were not remitted by their employers to SSS will have 100 percent of their loan penalties waived.

“Members applying for condonation will execute an affidavit to certify their employers’ failure to remit the deducted loan payments. SSS will then go after these employers, who face possible criminal charges for estafa or swindling under the Revised Penal Code,” de Quiros said.

SSS borrowers with unpaid short-term loans may also avail the program, under which they can get a condonation of their penalties of up to 50% to 100%.