Press Release
October 8, 2009

Gordon: SSS benefits of millions of employees to resume
as bicam panel okays condonation program

Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) said that millions of employees would soon be able to re-avail of their benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) with the approval by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the bill granting a one-time condonation of penalties on delinquent social security contributions.

Gordon, a co-author of Senate Bill 2454, said that many employees have not been able to avail of their SSS benefits because their employers have failed to pay or remit their social security contributions. He noted that there are an estimated 164,111 delinquent employers and an estimated P94-billion amount of receivables from unpaid contributions.

"The purpose of this measure is to give employers with delinquent contributions one last chance to be able to pay for these obligations and all the penalties, not the principal, will be condoned. A condonation program would offer reprieve to thousands of employers with financial woes, while enabling their employees to resume their entitlement to benefits and loans," he said.

On Wednesday, the two chambers of Congress approved the proposed one-time social security condonation program during the bicameral conference on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill 2454 and House Bill 5922.

Present during the meeting were Senators Gordon, chairman of the Senate panel, and Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Representatives Felix Alfelor, Jr., chairman of the House panel, Lorenzo Tañada III, and Ma. Amelita Villarosa.

Freddie De Leon of the Fair Trade Alliance lauded the approval of the bill stressing that both employers and employees would benefit from the measure.

"We are really happy with this bill because, as stated, it will provide relief to troubled or distressed businessmen. We are grateful that Senator Gordon has given it his attention and support. Several thousands of employers would be benefited by this bill," De Leon said.

"Kapag hindi naka-remit ang employer, the SSS suspends the release of the benefits of employees. Kaya kapag naayos ito, SSS would be able to release the benefits of the employees," he added.

Gordon explained that under the proposed condonation program, any employer who is delinquent or has not remitted all contributions due and payable to the SSS, may remit a down payment of 5% of its total contribution delinquency, and pay the remaining balance in equal monthly installments within a period of 48 months or four years with an interest of 3% per year.

He added that the program would also cover employers with pending cases before the Social Security Commission, the courts or the Office of the Prosecutor.

"This is really an act to make people more responsible, to pay more attention to their obligations to remit the premiums of their employees. This is done because we feel the fact that there has been an economic crisis in the world that is affecting our people and we also want to make sure that the businesses continue so that they could provide employment for our people," Gordon said.

News Latest News Feed