Some 34,000 delinquent employers are subject of criminal and civil charges for their deliberate failure to implement the Social Security Law (SSL).
The charges were readied against the employers on orders of Dean Amado Valdez, chairman of the Social Security Commission (SSC).
Voltaire Agas, Social Security System (SSS) senior vice president and chief legal counsel, said if the 34,000 businessmen settled their SSS obligations, the agency would get around P1.4 billion.
Agas added that a big number of the delinquent businessmen have been intentionally ignoring the SSL since 2010.
He said the SSS “will not hesitate to go after and file cases against those discovered to be violators of the Social Security Act, such as non- and under-reporting of employees, as well as non- and under-remittance of contributions.”
“For the past several years, the SSS has been actively going after delinquent employers, and we will continue to strengthen our campaign to ensure that companies obey the law,” according to Agas.
The pension fund, he said, has won court cases against 41 employers since 2010.
The 41 employers were convicted and were ordered by various courts to pay their financial obligations to their employees that reached P61.66 million.
Agas said the SSS plans to further intensify its campaign to bring down employer delinquency, using the full strength of the law under the Duterte administration.
Agas cited the need for the SSS to maximize the powers provided by the Social Security Law so that it can increase its collection to enable the fund to grant higher pensions and benefits.
Under the law, employers who fail to report workers for SSS coverage and remit employees’ monthly contributions will be punished with a fine of P5,000 to P20,000, imprisonment of six years up to 12 years, or both based on the discretion of the court.
Employers with delinquent employee contributions are also charged a monthly penalty of three percent until the overdue SSS premiums are fully paid.
“Employers who deduct SSS payments from their workers’ salaries but fail to remit these to the SSS are likewise guilty of committing the crime of estafa, which is also punishable by imprisonment under the Revised Penal Code,” Agas said.
Under the SSL, private companies are required to report new workers for SSS coverage within 30 days from the start of employment and remit the proper amount of contributions — including the employer and employee share — to SSS every month.
“We will craft policies and improve our monitoring systems to ensure that employers faithfully comply with their SSS obligations. May this serve as a stern warning to all erring employers to start changing their ways and start doing things right,” Agas said.
He urged the employees to take an active role in asserting their right to social security protection by reporting to any SSS branch their employers who neglect to report them for SSS coverage, underreport their salaries resulting in lower contribution payments or fail to remit their contributions on time.
“Every private company, regardless of its size, should fully comply with the SSS obligations provided by the [SSL]. It is the mandate of the law and everybody has to follow,” Agas said.