June 14, 2024

Encouraged by the Supreme Court decision upholding the right of the Social Security System to take legal action against employers who have been remiss in settling their contribution delinquencies, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Rolando Ledesma Macasaet ordered an increase in the frequency of its Run After Contribution Evaders (RACE) Campaign nationwide.

“Our RACE Campaign must be working,” Macasaet said as he reported the amount of unremitted members’ contributions from delinquent employers have plummeted by almost 40 percent in 2023.

He said uncollected contributions in 2022 stood at P92 billion, but SSS successfully brought it down by 39 percent to P56B in 2023 on the back of aggressively pursuing delinquent employers and continuously updating employer records.

In 2022, the Commission on Audit called out the SSS for failing to collect over P92B from half a million delinquent employers. According to State auditors, 466,881 employers did not remit P92.49B in premium contributions, penalties, and damages.

In a statement, Macasaet said the SSS has filed cases in court against 2,422 errant employers, majority of which have opted to settle their delinquencies either through full payment or via installment schemes, resulting in a record-high collection P1.37B in 2023 from P1.15B in 2022.

Macasaet said the decrease in unremitted contributions could be attributed to the high collection of delinquencies from employers not remitting their employees’ contributions.

He added the RACE Campaign is one of the programs that played a vital role in pursuing delinquent employers nationwide.

The SSS chief said RACE was an operation conducted by the State fund to ensure employers comply with their obligation as stipulated in Republic Act 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018.

He said only selected SSS branch offices conducted RACE campaigns in previous years. Recently, he ordered the SSS to beef up the initiative by requiring all SSS branch offices nationwide to carry out RACE campaigns in their respective areas.

“We issued show cause orders or notices of violation to delinquent employers and instructed them to report to SSS within 15 days to settle their unpaid contributions and corresponding penalties or face legal consequences for violating RA 11199,” Macasaet said.

He added in 2023, SSS conducted 587 RACE operations nationwide and issued written notices to 4,923 delinquent employers.

Last month, the SC rejected an appeal filed by a real estate company, which was found by a lower court to have failed to remit employee contributions to the SSS on time.

In a seven-page resolution, the SC Second Division upheld a decision of the Court of Appeals against RGV Real Estate Center, Inc. for violating the Social Security Law for failure to remit contributions.

RGV also violated SSS Circular 52 for failing to remit salary loan/calamity loan amortizations of its employees.

“The SSS is a government agency that is imbued with the salutary purpose of carrying out the State’s policy of establishing, developing, promoting, and perfecting a sound and viable tax-exempt social security system,” the SC resolution said.

The SSS had repeatedly issued demand letters seeking the payment of more than P3 million representing employee contributions. RGV availed of the condonation program, which allows members with outstanding balances to settle their arrears by installment. In this instance, RGV still failed to comply with the condonation program’s rules.

The Social Security Commission first heard the case and found RGV liable to pay almost P7.5M in unpaid contributions, interest, and penalties for late remittance.

The CA then ruled the case to be not reviewable.

Macasaet  said the SSS RACE operations have been institutionalized into the mainstream branch operational procedures in addition to systems enhancements made on regular collection, improved interoperability among concerned internal offices/units involved in collection, introduction of the administrative collection remedy of issuance of a warrant of distraint, levy, and garnishment, partnership with various regulatory and law enforcement agencies through memorandums of agreement, and judicial recourse to courts nationwide. – Press release