SSS threatens to seize assets of delinquent employers

(The Philippine Star) - July 12, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Social Security System (SSS) has threatened to garnish the assets of employers found to be delinquent in remitting employee contributions, its president and chief executive officer said yesterday.

The state pension fund will initiate this year the enforcement of a provision in its charter allowing it to conduct an assessment of delinquent contributors and to seize assets that may be liquidated and applied to the liability.

“Under the law, the SSS is empowered to assess its members in the same way the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) can assess taxpayers,” said SSS president and CEO Emmanuel Dooc during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum yesterday.

“And if found to be liable, it can issue a final assesment and if the taxpayer fails to settle the tax liability, BIR can issue a warrant of garnishment. It turns out our charter has similar provisions empowering SSS. So we will introduce that,” he added.

President Duterte, he said, has already issued an executive order to the SSS to enforce this provision in its charter.

“We obtained an executive order to do that,” said Dooc. “It is in our charter but it was never implemented. So now we are doing all the necessary preparations to implement that. We have hired our own sheriff  and we have hired our legal enforcement officers who will be the equivalent of BIR examiners. So this will be conducted in every region.”

Dooc said SSS has already identified delinquent employers for assessment but assured the public that it will conduct a proper assessment of liabilities. In going after erring employers, employees themselves will not be subject to sanctions as it is the responsibility of their employers to remit contributions deducted from their take home pay.

Those who are self-employed, however, will be compelled to settle missing contributions.

SSS will begin conducting assessments by October but before that, the provident fund will conduct a  pre-assessment conference and will send out notices of pre-assessment to such employers.

“Right now, we have identified them already because we have account officers who deal directly with all our employers. So have already a listing of delinquents,” Dooc said.

Once found remiss, SSS would demand that such employers settle their arrears.

“And if they fail to settle, the garnishment will depend on what assets of his are available,” Dooc said.

In the course of the enforcement of its right to garnish the assets of erring employers, SSS expects to rake in about P4.5 billion in a 12-month period.

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