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Deadline for SSS contribution remittance extended

/ 04:04 AM April 21, 2021

The Social Security System (SSS) has extended by one month or until April 30 the deadline for the remittance of members’ contributions for February in areas recently placed under the most stringent COVID-19 quarantine.

In an April 16 circular, Aurora Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive, said the extended deadline would cover employers in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, which the government lumped together as “National Capital Region (NCR) Plus.”

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February contributions should have been remitted to the SSS on March 31.

But NCR Plus was placed under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 11 due to surging COVID-19 infections. As such, movement of people and nonessential goods had been restricted during the two-week lockdown.

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Ignacio also allowed employers that paid contributions in installments to deposit by April 30 their post-dated checks that were supposedly due in March.

Since January, the state pension fund collected a higher monthly contribution rate of 13 percent, as mandated under the SSS’ amended charter.

Republic Act No. 11199, or the Social Security Act of 2018, signed by President Duterte two years ago allowed the Social Security Commission (SSC) —the SSS’ governing body—to jack up members’ contribution rate by 1 percentage point every other year starting 2019, from 11 percent until it reaches 15 percent. Previously, only the President can green-light adjustments.

Amid a pandemic-induced recession, which shuttered thousands of businesses and shed millions of jobs, the SSS’ contribution collections dropped 7.1 percent to P204.75 billion last year mainly as 1.5 million members were unable to pay their contributions as most of them lost their jobs.

During last Monday’s briefing with President Duterte, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the two-week lockdown and ongoing less-stringent modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of the month would cost a total of P83.3 billion in foregone workers’ wages in NCR Plus, which accounted for half of the economy.

Chua, who heads state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority, nonetheless said the government wanted to slash the unemployment rate from 8.8 percent as of February to 4-5 percent next year.

—BEN O. DE VERA INQ
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