By Rey Panaligan
The Supreme Court (SC) has declared valid the 0.6 percent increase in the monthly premiums of Social Security System (SSS) members implemented in January 2014.
It also upheld the validity of the SSS circular which mandates that “the employer and the employee shall equally shoulder the 0.6 percent increase” with the employer paying the contribution rate of 7.37 percent from 7.07 percent, and the employee paying 3.63 percent from 3.33 percent.
The SC decision written by Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen denied the petition filed by the Kilusang Mayo Uno and several others challenging the increase.
The decision was issued April 2 but was made public only yesterday by the SC’s public information office (PIO).
The decision under GR No. 210500 could not be immediately accessed from the SC website.
Based on the PIO release, declared valid by the SC are the following SSS issuances:
1. “Resolution No. 262-s. 2013, dated April 19, 2013, of the Social Security Commission (SSC) providing for an increase in the SSS members’ contribution rate from 10.4 per cent to 11 per cent and the maximum monthly salary credit from P15,000 to P16,000 subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines;
2. “Resolution No. 711-s. 2013, dated September 20, 2013, of the SSC, approving, among others, the foregoing increases;
3. “Circular No. 2013-010, dated October 2, 2013, issued by the SSS, through its President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio S. De
Quiros, Jr., providing for the revised schedule of contributions that would be in effect in January 2014, providing that the employer and employee shall equally shoulder the 0.6 per cent increase in contributions.”
The PIO said the SC dismissed KMU’s petition since the group and other petitioners “are collaterally attacking the validity of Social Security Act (Republic Act No. 8282) by putting in issue not only the validity of the exercise of respondents SSS and the Social Security Commission’s (SSC) power under the said law but also the validity of the delegation of power to the SSC under the said law to fix the contribution rate by claiming the said delegation to be incomplete in all its terms and conditions.”
“The SC ruled that the Social Security Act is not only complete in its terms but it also contains a sufficient standard for the SSC to fix the monthly contribution rate and the minimum and maximum monthly salary credits.”
The SC “found that Section 18 in relation to Section 4 (a) of the Social Security Act has vested the necessary powers in the SSC to fix the minimum and maximum amounts of monthly salary credits and the contribution rate.”
“The SC likewise found the legislature has specified the factors that should be considered—’actual calculations and rates of benefits’—in Section 18 of the Social Security Act as well as required the approval of the President of the Philippines as an additional limit to the SSC’s rate fixing power,” the PIO added.