MANILA -- The Social Security System (SSS) on Wednesday urged more than 115,000 delinquent employers to settle the unpaid premiums of their employees through its Contribution Penalty Condonation (CPC) program which will only run until September 1 this year.
SSS President and CEO Aurora Ignacio warned that after the CPC program lapses, employers who fail to settle their unpaid premiums will be held criminally liable.
We strongly urge all delinquent employers to settle now the unpaid premiums of their employees. This contribution condonation will run only until September 1, 2019, Ignacio said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
Employers who continue to violate the SSS law must pay penalties or face imprisonment if they continue to ignore their mandatory obligations to provide social security protection to all their employees. It is a criminal liability, she added.
According to Ignacio, the CPC program is among the two hallmark provisions of the Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 which took effect on March 5 this year while the other is the legislated contribution rate and new minimum and maximum monthly salary credits.
It is a transitory provision of the law that seeks to help employers, including household employers to comply with the new law.
Since the CPC program started last March 5, the SSS has collected PHP378.71 million in unpaid premiums from 16,460 employers with about 155,112 employees and waived more than PHP1 billion in penalties, excluding household employers.
Currently, she said there are still more than 115,000 delinquent employers who should avail of the CPC program for unpaid SSS premiums based on established collectibles.
More than 1.4 million employees will stand to receive the benefits of SSS if all the delinquent employers settle their unpaid premiums, because these workers can finally maximize their benefits and privileges as SSS members.
With only three months left before the program ends, Ignacio said although the SSS does not expect to collect 100 percent of unpaid premiums but noted that it aims to achieve more that 50 percent.
We would like to target 100 percent but since it's beyond our control, we will do a lot of our marketing efforts to inform everybody that the condonation program is available until September 1, Ignacio said.
You know the Filipino mentality, they come when it's about deadline, so we expect more to come in in the month of August, she added.
Ignacio, however, said the SSS cannot give any extension or a grace period because the program has been a part of the Social Security Act.
Qualified employers under the CPC Program are the following:
those who have not yet registered with SSS, including household employers
those with pending or approved proposals under the existing installment payment scheme program
those against whom judgment has been rendered either by the Social Security Commission, courts or Office of the Prosecutor but who have not complied with the judgment
those with pending or approved applications under the program for acceptance of properties offered under dacion en pago
those who settled all contributions before the effectivity of the SSS Act of 2018 but with unpaid or partially paid penalties for late or non-remittance
those against whom a warrant of distraint levy, garnishment or we call that the WDLG or encumbrance has been issued
Ignacio said qualified employers can apply by first submitting their letters of intent to the nearest SSS branch.
She said the applicants who want to remit their contribution delinquency in full should wait for the branch approval while those who choose to settle their contribution delinquency through installment should submit a proposal and collection list to the SSS branch.
Ignacio said upon submission of the proposal, the employer should remit a down payment equivalent to at least 5 percent of its total contribution delinquency.
The employer will also be required to submit a promissory note committing to pay the balance of the delinquency in equal monthly installments within a period of 48 months; wherein the first monthly installment shall fall due within 30 days after the approval date of the proposal, she added.
In March, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law which overhauls the SSS and allows it to increase the contribution by 1 percentage point every other year until it becomes 15 percent in 2025. To date, the contribution rate is 11 percent.
The SSS with its stakeholders and the Social Security Commission have promulgated Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law on May 22.
Source: Philippines News Agency