By Chino S. Leyco
State-run Social Security System (SSS) said that employees will benefit from the application of employers to the ongoing contribution penalty condonation program which will only run until September this year.
In a statement, Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive estimated that more than 155,000 employees stand to benefit from the ongoing condonation program of the pension fund.
Ignacio said that SSS has already waived P1.01 billion worth of penalties to date after 16,460 employers availed of the condonation program, which started last March and will end on September 1.
“Over the three-month period, about 155,112 employees will benefit from their employer’s initiative to apply for the condonation program because these workers can finally maximize their benefits and privileges as SSS members,” Ignacio said.
The SSS chief also said that P378.71 million worth of combined principal delinquency and interest were collected from the employers who have availed of the program since it started accepting applications last March 15.
Based on established collectibles, there are still more than 115,000 delinquent employers who may avail of this penalty condonation program for unpaid SSS premiums. Ignacio noted the Filipino mentality of availing a program during the deadline.
“While we are looking at 50 percent availment rate among delinquent employers, we will intensify our marketing efforts to achieve a higher availment. We expect the number of employers who will avail of the program to increase by August when the deadline nears,” Ignacio said.
The highest number of availees under the contribution penalty condonation program came from Luzon at 6,023, followed by Visayas with 4,072 availees, Mindanao with 3,216 availees, and National Capital Region (NCR) with 2,945 availees.
The Large Accounts Division, on the other, which handles employer accounts with 100 employees and above, recorded 204 availees for the program.
Ignacio said through the program, penalties were waived following their application and proposals to pay for their delinquencies either in full or installment basis.
Ignacio further stressed that the on-going contribution penalty condonation program also covers delinquent contributions of household employers.
“This program will not only benefit regular employees of delinquent employers because household employers are also qualified to avail of the program,” Ignacio said.
“For example, if their kasambahay has been with them since 1993 and they haven’t paid her contributions since then, they now have the chance to do the right thing and pay for the social security protection of their household employee without any penalties,” she added.
As of March this year, household employers registered with SSS stood at 267,478.
“This is obviously a small number. Our household employers must register their househelpers with SSS and pay their monthly contributions,” Ignacio said.
Based on SSS Circular 2019-004, qualified employers under the contribution penalty condonation program are those who have not yet registered with SSS including household employers, and those with pending or approved proposals under the existing Installment Payment Scheme Program.
Also included are those with pending or approved applications under the Program for Acceptance of Properties offered through dacion en pago.