SAYING that they were remiss in the payment of their workers’ contributions, six business establishments in Bacolod City were issued show cause orders by the Run After Contributions Evaders (Race) team of the Social Security System (SSS) yesterday, August 4.

SSS Vice President for Visayas West Division Lilani Benedian said the establishments that had received the show cause orders included a beauty clinic, agro-industrial store, pastry shop, hardware store, emission testing center and trucking service.

During the issuance of the orders, the owners were not around and only the employees of these establishments were present, Benedian said.

One of the employees, who requested anonymity, told Sunstar Bacolod that his remittance was only for a year although he has been working for 10 years already.

Earlier, these employers were issued billing and demand letters before they were referred to the legal division of the SSS, Benedian said, adding that they will be given 15 days to reply.

If they want, they could pay their delinquency on a staggered basis in the next 18 months, she said.

“What we did (the issuance of the show cause order) was a reminder for them (employers) to settle their obligation as well as to reiterate that the SSS is serious in its implementation of the social security law,” Benedian also said.

The SSS official emphasized that once the employers settled the delinquencies, their workers who will give birth can avail of maternity leave, those who are ill can avail of sick leave while those who have financial needs can avail of salary loans.

For his part, Lawyer Eduard Doresey Caratao of SSS Bacolod’s legal division stressed that if these employers will not correct their violation, they will be facing criminal charges punishable under Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018.

“Aside from non-payment of contributions, other violations committed by the employers are either underpayment of contributions, incorrect reporting as to the actual number of laborers and non-registration with SSS,” he said.

From January to June this year, SSS - Bacolod Main and East Branches, which also covers the towns of Don Salvador Benedicto and Murcia, found some 1,311 employers remiss in paying their workers’ contribution.

The delinquency reached P81.9 million from January to June this year.

Of the amount, P72.72 million has already been settled while the remaining P9.18 million is yet to be collected.

Emelia Solinap and Ma. Sheila Galeno, heads of SSS Bacolod East and Main Branches, respectively, said the employers cited the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic as their reason for the unsettled dues.

The agency reiterated that they will continue to intensify its campaign against erring employers through the Race program.

In fact, the team will also issue show cause orders to six more establishments today, August 5.*