SSS launches campaign against contribution evaders

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 20) — The Social Security System (SSS) launched the Run After Contribution Evaders (RACE) campaign on Thursday, aimed at pressuring business owners to comply with the law and raise the ceiling of contributions.

SSS Chairman Amado Valdez and SSS President Emmanuel Dooc spearheaded the inspection of stalls at the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan as part of RACE, checking whether the employers are paying the proper contributions of their employees.

Many stalls were closed during the inspection, but SSS officials were able to serve a show cause order to one establishment. Its owner however was not around and the store keeper did not disclose much information.

The order requires the business owner to present proof of SSS contributions within 15 days.

According to Republic Act 8282 or the Social Security Law, the store owner will face criminal prosecution if contributions are not remitted, with the possibility of imprisonment up to 12 years if found guilty.

A business owner said businesses also benefit from prompt contribution payments because employees perform better.

"Hindi naman pwede na they just work for you with no benefits at all (The employees should not just work for you with no benefits at all)," said jewelry business owner Precy Marcelo.

"If you treat them well, they also give good service for you," Marcelo added, who has eight employees in her business.

SSS officials said that some of the most vulnerable workers are store keepers and security guards, often victims of employers who make SSS deductions but do not remit these.

Authorities say their crack down will be relentless and if the operation proves successful, Filipinos may have brand new benefits like unemployment insurance-a step towards building a better safety net for the workforce.

"We are thinking of many benefits like unemployment insurance…[but] it all depends [on the cooperation of] employers and employees in timely remitting their contributions," SSS Chairman Valdez said.