SSS condonation plan to start in March

By: February 25,2019 - 04:57 PM

Uncollected dues amounted to P13.8B from 122,658 employers, says COA report

The state-run Social Security System (SSS) will offer a one-time, big-time, six-month condonation program starting this March as mandated by Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 signed by President Duterte.

SSS president and chief executive Emmanuel F. Dooc told reporters that RA 11199 provided that delinquent employers and members could apply to have penalties waived within six months from the law’s effectivity date.

“It will entice people to come out and pay what is due in terms of contribution. Within 6 months, we will waive the penalty,” SSS senior vice president and chief legal counsel Voltaire P. Agas said.

Since RA 11199 was published in the Official Gazette on Feb. 18, it will take effect on March 5.

“We are now ready for that. Once it gets effective, we can accept applications for condonation,” Dooc said.

SSS vice president for large accounts division Antonio S. Argabioso said that in lieu of the penalty, they were looking at slapping an interest of 6 percent a year for those who would pay in installment.

Dooc said that while they did not have estimates yet on how much could be collected from delinquent employers and members through the mandatory condonation program, doing so could wipe out uncollected contributions and penalties.

Citing the latest Commission on Audit (COA) report, Dooc had said that cumulative uncollected dues amounted to P13.8 billion from 122,658 employers as of 2017, even as senatorial aspirant Neri Colmenares claimed that the pension fund’s uncollected contributions and penalties reached a staggering P437 billion since 2010.

RA 11199 also brought down to 2 percent a month the penalty slapped on late contribution payments from 3 percent previously.

Also, the new law no longer required the President’s approval of condonation programs prior to implementation, giving the Social Security Commission the power to do so.

This year, SSS members and their employers will shell out more for their contributions as the rate will increase to 12 percent, a move that the state-run pension fund’s chief said would replenish the fund life by six years.

A provision in the law mandates a 1-percentage point increase in the contribution rate every two years, until it reaches 15 percent. At present, the contribution rate stands at 11 percent. As such, this year’s contribution rate hike will be followed by three more 1-percentage point increases in 2021, 2023 and 2025.

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