The Social Security Systems (SSS) over the weekend boasted “victory” for it managed to collect around P1.6 billion from delinquent employers over the past five years.
On top of that, SSS also was able to send 24 employers to jail for their failure to remit to the government agency the SSS monthly obligations of their employees.
Those employers, however, seemed to be part of only a small portion of about 7,072 businessmen who were sued by the SSS since 2010 because of deliberate violations of the SSS Law.
Seventy-seven percent or 5,452 businessmen have decided to “settle their overdue contributions and penalties by paying in full, by installment or thru “dacion en pago” or payment in kind,” said Voltaire Agas, SSS chief legal counsel and senior vice president of Legal Services Division.
Agas added that “the 24 employers convicted by the court were ordered to serve jail terms of up to 12 years.”
The SSS got P24.32 million unpaid contributions, penalties and fines from the 24 businessmen.
Agas said the “convictions should serve as a reminder that the SSS is committed to running after erring employers. As much as they have a business to operate, they also have an obligation to fulfil their duties under the Social Security Law.”
He noted that violations of the SSS Law will lead to long and tedious court litigations.
Agas told stakeholders that the “SSS and employers can agree to a settlement that ensures payment of the delinquency through various means in line with existing SSS policies. This benefits the SSS, the employers, as well as the employees, since no party aims to force companies into bankruptcy, shut down their operations and leave the workers jobless.”
Under the SSS Charter, employers must report their new employees to the SSS within 30 days from start of employment and remit the correct amount of SSS contributions every month on time to avoid a three-percent monthly penalty.
Despite these provisions, many businessmen deliberately violate the SSS Law.
The employees could do nothing because once they lodged complaint at the SSS, their employers would dismiss them with invented reasons.
Agas strongly urged employees to file a complaint if their employers are found delinquent in their SSS obligations at the nearest SSS branch.
“While our account officers and lawyers have been working hard to ensure employers’ SSS compliance, we also urge members to monitor their own SSS contributions and to report to us at the earliest possible opportunity if there are non-remittances or under-remittances done by their employers,” he said.