By Chino S. Leyco
State-run Social Security System (SSS) is strongly urging delinquent employers to avail of its contribution penalty condonation program (CPCP) ahead of the September deadline.
Aurora C. Ignacio, SSS president and chief executive said that more than 100,000 delinquent employers are qualified to apply for CPCP, but only less than 30 percent of them have currently availed of the program.
“Only a few weeks left before the [September 6] deadline, yet there are still more than 70 percent of delinquent employers who have not yet availed of the CPCP,” Ignacio said. The transitory clause of the Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 provides that a contribution penalty condonation program be implemented for six months from its effectivity in March.
“Instead of waiting for the last day, we strongly urge all delinquent employers to immediately apply for the condonation program to settle the unpaid premiums of their employees and have the incurred penalties waived,” Ignacio said.
“You have until September 6 to avail of the program and bring back your records to good standing,” she added.
Since the CPCP’s implementation last March, the SSS has collected P795.97-million unpaid premiums from 31,774 employers benefiting 307,578 employees as of July. The pension fund has condoned P1.67 billion in penalties.
Ignacio said delinquent employers should take advantage of the “big opportunity” to avoid having a criminal liability and be able to help their employees claim the benefits due them without delay.
“Employers have the option to pay in full the amount of unpaid contributions or through an installment payment scheme with only six percent interest per year,” Ignacio noted.
Employers who continue to violate the SS Act of 2018 shall pay penalties and may face imprisonment ranging from six to 12 years and a fine of P5,000 to P20,000.
Under the new law, the penalty imposed on unpaid contributions was reduced to two percent. Those who are qualified to avail are employers with unpaid contributions; employers who have not yet registered with SSS
“We always stress the importance of availing of the CPCP to avoid paying for the penalties that are sometimes higher than the actual premiums that they have to pay. When you settle your financial obligations with SSS, your employees will be able to maximize their benefits and privileges as SSS members,” Ignacio said.
SSS advises delinquent employers to go to the nearest SSS branch to apply for CPCP and have their account assessed first. For those who want to pay through installment, they may submit an installment proposal to the Head of the SSS Branch/Office or Large Account Department.