SSS shifts focus, prioritizes assistance over pursuit of delinquent employers

SSS shifts focus, prioritizes assistance over pursuit of delinquent employers
Photo by Honey Cotejo

THE Social Security System (SSS) has changed its approach to help rather than chase delinquent employers to encourage them to seek assistance from their respective SSS offices in fulfilling their contributions.

This, as the organization has noticed that there are a significant number of employers who have not yet registered their businesses under SSS, particularly in Cebu and Bohol, in 2023.

In a press conference at Kafe Tano Restaurant in City Times Square Mall, Barangay Tipolo, Mandaue City, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, Alberto Montalbo, head of SSS Visayas Central 1 Division, discussed their new initiative to change their Race campaign.

Previously defined as "Run Against Contribution Invaders," it has now been rebranded as "Relief Afforded to Challenge Employers."

Montalbo said the campaign rebranding began in 2022 and will be further strengthened in 2024.

He said the new campaign has produced more positive results than the previous Race campaign.

He said the campaign aims to encourage more investors to venture, especially in Cebu, and to alleviate the fear of most employers toward SSS.

Also, simultaneous Race operations were conducted by five SSS branches in Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay, and the Cebu-North Reclamation Area on Wednesday.

Installment scheme

As part of the new Race campaign, Montalbo said the SSS is planning to strengthen its opening program to allow employers to pay their unpaid contributions through installment payments.

This program will enable employers to pay at least five percent of their total computed delinquency as a downpayment, while the duration of the installment payment will be assessed based on the employer's total amount of delinquency, particularly to the principality of their penalties.

This payment scheme could last up to 24 months or two years.

Employers are advised to prioritize remitting SSS contributions for employees who would highly need SSS benefits while availing of installment payments.

Race 2023

Unesco Pacarro Jr., head of the Legal Department division, reported during the press conference that in 2023, around 193 employers had been targeted by the Race campaign in provinces in Cebu and Bohol.

As a result, an estimated P36 million worth of unpaid contributions or delinquency from the employers was recorded.

Montalbo said that as of March, the SSS has already collected P30 million of the P36 million unpaid contributions from employers.

Out of the 193 employers, 65 were discovered to have failed to register their businesses under SSS. Forty of them had fully paid their delinquencies, while 10 chose to partially pay their unpaid contributions. Five were found to have closed their companies.

Nine out of 193 employers were filed with criminal cases for violation of Republic Act 1161, or the SSS law. Two of these cases already had resolutions released by the City Prosecutor's Office for filing information against the employers.

Meanwhile, the rest of the employers availed themselves of SSS's installment, restructuring, and condonation programs to settle their contribution disputes.

Employers who violate the SSS law may be fined up to P500,000 or face a minimum of six months imprisonment, or both, depending on the court's decision. But the case can be bailed for P72,000.

The law also requires employers to register their business under SSS report their employees from the first day of their employment and pay their contribution a month after their employment.

Race 2024

From January to March 2024, the SSS Visayas Central 1 Division reported that there are already 56 employers who were subjected to Race operations in Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Talisay cities.

The operations recorded roughly P9.6 million in delinquencies and also identified non-SSS registered companies.

On Wednesday, a simultaneous Race operation was conducted across five SSS branches in Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay Cities, and the Cebu-North Reclamation Area.

The operation found that a computer supplier company based in Mandaue was the most delinquent with 17 employees, surpassing P1 million in SSS delinquencies since 2019.

The SSS ended the press conference reminding employers to prioritize their employees' future by providing them with SSS benefits.

It said this would be advantageous for the company in the long run, as it would encourage employees to stay and perform their best for the company. (HIC)


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