Private schools ‘crippled’ by SSS’s soaring contribution turn to gov’t for help

Published June 27, 2022, 8:46 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

“Come to our rescue,” private schools told the government as their operations continue to bear the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic.

(Photo from Unsplash)

“Private schools in the Philippines continue to close,” Federation of Associations of Private Schools & Administrators (FAPSA) President Eleazardo Kasilag said in a statement on Monday, June 27. “This pandemic wreaks havoc to school institutions and closure of schools seem to go on unabated,” he added.

School administrators under FAPSA held a meeting over the weekend to identify the many crippling issues besieging the private schools.

During the meeting, Kasilag said that among the pressing concerns of most private schools is the “soaring contribution” supposedly enforced by the Social Security System (SSS) from “school owners mandated to pay employer’s lopsided share favorable to their employees.”

Kasilag pointed out that currently, FAPSA administrators prioritize the monthly payment of their employees. Since the enrollment has been affected by the pandemic, he noted that most private schools “do not have enough to pay” various contributions such as the SSS — among others.

As private schools continue to fight for their survival, Kasilag lamented that the SSS “penalizes late payments and the interest is even compounded.” Some accounts of schools, he added, “have blown to millions that they decided to close.”

With the challenges faced by private schools brought about by the pandemic, FAPSA officers appealed to the lawmakers to “relax” the law for private schools since the pandemic has completely downsized the school’s financial operation.

FAPSA also appealed to SSS to “give us breathing spell during this,” noting that when private schools can recover, “you may charge us as before.”

Given this, FAPSA urged the government to realize that “we are partners” and that during these trying times, private schools need its understanding the most.

“FAPSA humbly appeals to come to our rescue,” Kasilag said.