Labor group dares SSS to bare delinquent employers

Labor group dares SSS to bare delinquent employers
By Jaime Pilapil

A labor group yesterday dared the Social Security System to disclose the 160,000 firms who failed to remit the contributions of their employees.
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines secretary-general Ernesto Herrera said the SSS should release the list of delinquent employers to the Bureau of Internal Revenue so that they could also be investigated for possible tax fraud.
Failure to remit SSS payments constitute violations of the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code like non remittance of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Pag-IBIG Fund contributions.
“These SSS-delinquent firms defraud workers on two counts. First, they are not paying their counterpart dues as employers. Second, they are deducting from the salaries of their workers the employee’s share. However, instead of forwarding payments to the SSS, these employers are keeping the money for themselves. They are in effect robbing workers of their hard-earned money,” said Herrera.
He added that the worst part of it all is that workers and their dependents are effectively deprived of protection, owing to the non-payment of contributions.
He also said SSS-delinquent firms pose “dishonest and unfair competition” to business rivals dutifully paying their dues.
“If you have two shops providing the same service or selling the same product and one of them is not paying the SSS dues, then that shop is competing wrongfully through grossly unethical business conduct”.
Meanwhile, reports said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to sign into law a bill condoning some P94-billion worth of penalties slapped on 164,111 delinquent employers that failed to remit contributions to the SSS.
So far, some 1,623 employers were facing charges for failure to remit their employees’ contributions.
Republic Act 8282, the Social Security Act of 1997, mandates firms to remit contributions of their employees. It penalizes also the failure to register, and refusal to present employment records.
The law prescribes that contributions should be remitted within the first 10 days of the following month.
Failure to remit within the prescribed period, the employer would have to pay besides the contribution, a penalty of three percent per month from the date the contribution fell due until paid. -30-

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