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SSS RACE rebranded, offers payment plans to erring employers

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 24 (PIA) -- Contributions of about 30 employees totaling a million pesos in potential Social Security System (SSS) benefits could have been a great help for their families who are recovering from the pandemic, but employers from seven establishments in Tubigon and Calape towns failed to remit or report these, prompting a visit by SSS leaders here.

SSS Vice President for the Visayas Atty. Alberto Montalbo with Legal Department Head Atty. Mary Ann Chaves, SSS Bohol Field Office Head Engr. Alieta Basubas, and other key SSS officials visited the said establishments as the agency has rebranded the Run After Contribution Evaders becomes Relief Afforded to Challenged Employers (RACE) campaign.

The SSS has changed its image, from a tough “padlocking authority” for establishments with delinquencies in their employer-employee shares of the contributions, to a more humane agency handing out easy-pay schemes for erring employers, or serving the last recourse.

“What we usually implemented as Run After Contribution Evaders, is now the rebranded RACE,” explained Montalbo during a press conference at the SSS Bohol office after their visit to the erring and delinquent establishments. 

In Tubigon, the SSS RACE Team visited and offered ways to fix their deficiencies to two private educational institutions and a cellphone repair shop.

In Calape, the RACE team talked to owners and administrators of a water refilling station, a gasoline station, a medical diagnostic center, and a construction company who failed to register their employees and put in the funds for their benefits.

The RACE operation, the first for 2023 in Bohol, is an annual program of the SSS to engage employers to register and pay for their share as well as of the employees, as mandated by law, to allow workers a list of benefits they can avail of during their hard times.

Under Republic Act No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018, SSS coverage is mandatory for the employers, employees, self-employed, and OFW members, so they are required to pay the contribution.

The SSS Law also mandates employers to deduct monthly contributions from their employees' salary and remit them along with their share of contribution to the SSS.

With the notice of violations earlier sent out, the SSS through Montalbo issued a 15-day ultimatum for the said establishments to fix their deficiencies, talk to SSS, and choose a condonation package for easy payment terms for their obligations.
SSS has done RACE campaigns in Tagbilaran City, Panglao, and Dauis last year.

According to SSS Legal Department Head Atty. Mary Ann Chavez, generally, the employers implicated in the cases opt to amicably settle than proceed with the litigation.

She added that right after the SSS Race Team visit, employers usually go to the SSS and settle without waiting for the 15-day perion when the ultimatum ends.

Both SSS officials said that the issues of the deficiencies of employers in Bohol, however, is not as pronounced as with those in other areas in Central Visayas.

All over Bohol, SSS listed around 275 to 300 employers with SSS contributions deficiency which is minimal compared to other cities and provinces in the region.

But Montalbo also noted that in the past years, SSS has seen a steady increase in the number of new employers, which could also be the reason they are not captured in the system as delinquents as they may not have registered with the SSS yet.

“We are also into them, looking at these business establishment owners so they will register their businesses with the SSS, report their new workers and pay for their contributions,” Montalbo said. (RAHC/PIA7 Bohol)

The SSS in their rebranded RACE or Relief Afforded to Challenged Employers (RACE) campaign visits Bohol to urge employers who have failed to register and pay for their employees' SSS contributions. Photo shows SSS Vice President for the Visayas Atty. Alberto Montalbo (2nd from left) explaining to a gas station representative the establishment’s deficiency in contributions, so they can settle and assure their workers’ benefits. (PIA Bohol)

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Rey Anthony Chiu

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Region 7

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