Pag-ibig cracks whip on firms with late payments

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012


THERE’S no love lost between Pag-ibig and 15 employers who allegedly refused to hand over their workers’ contributions.

The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), more popularly known as the Pag-ibig Fund, alleged that these employers owe about P20 million in premiums, which their workers need to avail themselves of housing and other types of loans.

Atty. Lovella L. Albina, HDMF legal counsel, pointed out that coverage is mandatory under Republic Act 9679, something the agency has emphasized in its enforcement campaign these past two years.

The filing of charges, she said, should be a wake-up call for delinquent employers.

Six more employers will be named in similar cases this week and nine employers after the Holy Week, she said.

Delinquent employers who are found guilty of violating the law will be fined twice the amount of their uncollected or unremitted contributions, or face six years in jail. A court may also enforce both penalties.

Of the 15 cases, Albina said seven were already elevated to the court, while eight are pending with the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s Office.

Two of the companies charged are a furniture firm and a shellcraft exporter.

Under the law, all employers are mandated to collect and remit to Pag-ibig Fund the employees’ contributions plus the employers’ counterpart.

Employees who make less than P1,500 a month must contribute one percent, with an employer’s counterpart of two percent. Those who earn more than P1,500 monthly must pay two percent of their monthly rate as their share, with an equivalent amount from their employer.

Ma. Salve P. Ceniza, Pag-ibig chief of marketing and enforcement division, said that delinquent employers can be cleared of criminal liability if they avail themselves of the penalty condonation from Jan. 2 to June 30, 2012.

However, Ceniza said that the penalty condonation covers only unregistered and delinquent employers who did not collect membership contributions.

Excluded from the coverage are employers who collected membership contributions but failed to remit, and employers who have previously availed of any penalty condonation.

Ceniza said that delinquent employers and unregistered employers may call the HDMF Cebu North Branch M&E Division at 505-9759 or 416-1000. They may also email them at employerpencon@pagibigfund.gov.ph or visit at their website at www.pagibigfund.gov.ph.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 03, 2012.

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