606 firms in hot water over SSS contributions
Delinquent companies charged in courtBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Social Security System filed lawsuits against 606 companies in the first half of the year, mostly for failing to remit contributions to the pension fund.
Santiago Agdeppa, SSS assistant vice president and head of the legal department, said the number represented a 17-percent increase from the 518 firms charged in court in the same period in 2011.
Agdeppa said that this year, 494 of the delinquent companies failed to turn over monthly premiums amounting to P209.3 million, including the 3-percent monthly penalty that had accumulated to P188 million.
The other firms were charged for failing to register workers for SSS coverage or refusing to cooperate with SSS account officers who are inquiring about their businesses.
The Social Security Act of 1997 requires employers to register workers with the SSS within 30 days from start of employment and to promptly remit monthly contributions of employees.
Employers are also required by law to present their records for inspection by SSS or its authorized representatives.
“We continue to intensify legal measures to compel employers to fulfill their responsibilities under the law,” Agdeppa said.
When pressed for details, he explained that the SSS preferred to withhold the names of the delinquent companies from the public in order to encourage them to settle their accounts and spare both the SSS and the firms from the costs and hassle of lawsuits.
Also in the first semester, the pension fund collected P155.63 million from employers who settled their obligations after the SSS initiated legal action against them—including the issuance of demand letters and the filing of cases in court, Agdeppa said.
The SSS official explained that, under the law, delinquent employers face up to 12 years in prison and a fine of P5,000 to P20,000.
“To safeguard against unscrupulous employers, we encourage employees to monitor the remittance of their SSS payments by registering at our website at www.sss.gov.ph,” Agdeppa said.
“Employees can file a complaint against delinquent employers at their nearest SSS branch. They may remain anonymous in filing their complaints. But what is important is that they inform SSS so we can immediately start to investigate.”
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