One of the country’s workers’ associations on Monday announced its support to the Social Security System’s (SSS) campaign against anti-laborer businessmen who refuse to remit to the state pension fund their workers’s monthly contributions.
Jose Sonny G. Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers, told the BusinessMirror that his group “supports the Social Security System’s Run After Contribution Evaders [RACE] Campaign.” FFW has 250 member-labor unions in almost all parts of the country.
The Tinig ng Maralitang Mamamayan Inc., or Tinig, joined with FFW in saying SSS’s decision was the right thing to do.
Tinig President Lito C. Moral told the BusinessMirror that the SSS campaign is “definitely a very big help to millions of workers who are poor, ordinary citizens.”
Moral said the government’s move to hunt down anti-workers employers would surely increase the funds intended to benefit poor Filipino workers.
The delinquent employers are the capitalists who cut portion of the workers’ monthly salary as monthly contribution of their laborers to the SSS, but the businessmen deliberately keep the workers’ money in their bank accounts.
Aside from the workers’ contribution, Republic Act (RA) 8282, or the SSS Act, also mandated the businessmen to give their corresponding share to each worker in their companies—and subsequently remit the money every quarter of the year.
Failure to do so is a crime committed by the businessmen and, therefore, they should be punished as stipulated by the SSS Act.
FFW’s support to the SSS was anchored on the agency’s “first salvo last week, where more than 50 stores were investigated at a shopping mall in Lipa City in Batangas,” Matula said.
Media reports said the SSS discovered that more than 60 percent of the 54 stores that it mapped out were noncompliant with RA 8282.
This 60 percent appeared to be different from more than 34,000 businessmen, who have not deposited their workers’ monthly contribution for a long period of time, which was revealed to the public last year by former Social Security Commission Chairman Amado D. Valdez.
The delinquent businessmen collectively failed to remit to the SSS around P1.4 billion, Valdez told the media last year.
While the FFW lauded SSS’s campaign, Matula urged President Duterte to direct the SSS leadership “to first exhaust other options like efficient collection or remedies other than [the] proposal [of SSS] executive[s] to increase workers’ monthly contributions.”
SSS President and CEO Emmanuel F. Dooc and other SSS officials brought to Duterte’s office the proposal to increase members’ contribution to 14 percent, from 11 percent.
Dooc said that, by doing so, the SSS’s life span will be extended. He said the 3-percent hike is the “best solution” to the financial problem of the SSS.
The FFW and other labor groups like the Partido Manggagawa, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and Alliance of Trade Unions have opposed the increase in members’ contributions.