by Samuel P. Medenilla
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has recommended the filing of charges against 9,200 private establishments for the non-remittance of the Social Security System (SSS) premium of their workers.
Based on the latest data from DOLE’s Bureau of Working Condition (BWC), only 51,132 or 84.69 percent of the 60,376 companies which underwent the labor law compliance system (LLCS) of DOLE’s regional offices for 2016 remitted the SSS membership fees of their employees.
BWC Director Ma. Teresita Cucueco said DOLE’s regional offices have already forwarded the list of the non-compliant employers to the SSS for possible legal action.
“The (erring) employers can be charged with criminal cases with its corresponding fines and imprisonment,” Cucueco said in an interview.
She said the 10,180 establishments which did not remit the Pag-IBIG fund and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) premiums of their employees last year will also face similar charges.
To avoid similar sanctions, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III urged establishments to religiously remit the membership contributions of their workers.
“This is one way of safeguarding and protecting the rights of our workers. It is also the employers’ legal and moral responsibility to their employees,” Bello said in a statement.
DOLE has recently intensified its crackdown against delinquent employers due to increasing reports of non-remittance of premiums.
“DOLE has been receiving numerous complaints from workers about their employers’ non-remittance of SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG contributions, which resulted in the disapproval of their loan applications,” Bello said.
The campaign is also part of DOLE’s contribution to make SSS’s planned P2,000 pension hike sustainable.
The government’s economic managers opposed the higher pension rate fearing it will deplete the SSS’ fund. The SSS said it will implement a 1.5 percent increase in its contribution rate starting this May and go after delinquent employers.
The SSS earlier said it was already able to file cases against 34,000 delinquent employers in the last six years.