AS DEADLINE NEARS: SSS urges employers to avail of the penalty condonation

THE state-run Social Security System strongly advised the more than 100,000 delinquent employers to avail of the Contribution Penalty Condonation Program (CPCP) as its September 6 deadline draws closer.

The transitory clause of the Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018 provides that a Contribution Penalty Condonation Program will be implemented for six months from its effectivity in March 2019.

“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. You have until September 6 to avail of the program and bring back your records to good standing,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said.

As of July, the SSS has already collected P795.97 million unpaid premiums from 31,774 employers benefiting 307,578 employees. The pension fund has also condoned P1.67 billion worth of penalties.

“Only a few weeks are left before the deadline, yet more than 70 percent of delinquent employers who have not yet availed of the CPCP. We are urging employers to take advantage of this big opportunity to avoid facing criminal liability and help their employees claim the benefits due to them without any delay. Employers have the option to pay their unpaid contributions in full amount or through installment payment with only six percent interest per year,” Ignacio added.

SSS warned employers who continue to violate the SS Act of 2018 that they will be obliged to pay the corresponding penalties and will face imprisonment ranging from six to 12 years and will have to pay a fine ranging from P5,000 to P20,000.

Under the new law, the penalty imposed on unpaid contributions was reduced to 2 percent.

Those who are qualified to avail the program are employers with unpaid contributions; employers who have not yet registered with SSS, including household employers; employers who have pending or approved proposals under the installment scheme of SSS including those with pending or approved applications under the program for acceptance of properties through dacion en pago; employers with cases pending before the Social Security Commission, Courts or Office of the Prosecutor; and employers who have settled all contributions before the effectivity of RA 11199 but with unpaid penalties as well as those who were given a Warrant of Distraint/Levy/Garnishment (WDLG) or encumbrance

“We always stress the importance of availing of the CPCP to avoid paying penalties that are sometimes higher than the actual unpaid premiums that they have to pay. When you settle your financial obligations with SSS, your employees can maximize their benefits and privileges as SSS members,” Ignacio said.

SSS advised delinquent employers to go the nearest SSS branch to have their account assessed first if they are qualified under the CPCP. 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.

“The pension fund shall only require a minimum down payment equivalent to at least 5 percent of the total contribution delinquency. The employers must also submit a promissory note indicating their intent to pay the balance of the delinquency in equal monthly installments within a maximum period of four years. The first monthly installment must be paid within 30 days after the date of approval of the proposal,” Ignacio said.