SSS ramps up efforts against erring employers

March 5, 2012 11:30 am 

MANILA, March 5 — The Social Security System (SSS), seeking to compel companies to fulfill their obligations to their workers, said the annual total of erring employers it sued last year surged 66 percent last year to 1,227 from only 740 in 2010.

SSS president and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros Jr. said nine out of every 10 employers the agency charged in 2011 were for non-remittance of contributions amounting to P460.52 million, including 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.

Among those charged last year were 115 employers that failed to register workers for SSS coverage and refused to show company records to SSS account officers, who are tasked to check their compliance with the Social Security Act of 1997.

Employers face stiff fines and imprisonment of six to 12 years for violations of the SSS charter. The law requires employers to report new workers for SSS coverage with 30 days from start of employment and provides a three percent monthly penalty for overdue premiums.

De Quiros said SSS is poised to intensify its drive against companies with unremitted loan amortizations of employees with the upcoming Loan Penalty Condonation Program for Individual Members, which will open for availment on April 2.

Under the condonation program, 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, he said.

"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," he said.

Other borrowers with unpaid short-term loans can also apply for the program, which will condone 50 to 100 percent of penalties depending on the mode of payment and type of delinquent member. SSS charges a monthly penalty of one percent on overdue loans. (PNA) FFC/SSS-PR/mec


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