GOVERNMENT AUDITORS said that 926,899 employers were not compliant with the rules for remitting their employees’ premium contributions to the Social Security System (SSS), depriving the agency of funds to deliver its services.

In its 2020 annual report, the Commission on Audit (CoA) found that P321.53 billion has yet to be paid by these employers to the SSS, including penalties and damages.

“Inability to collect promptly the unremitted premium contributions, corresponding penalties and damages from delinquent employers may result in losses of SSS funds which could have been invested to earn income for the benefits of the members and beneficiaries,” CoA said.

The failure to remit comes in spite of an SSS Accounts Management System which seeks to monitor collection of contributions and the Condonation Penalty Contribution Program (CPCP) put in place in 2019.

Only 55,750 of the 112,043 employers assessed as delinquent availed of the CPCP duringits six-month run.

Delinquent accounts under the jurisdiction of the agency’s Branch Operations Sector (BOS) and Large Accounts Division totaled 916,626 employers, which is 97.86% higher than the 2019 tally.

Unpaid contributions by these employers increased by 69.89% from 2019 to P316.35 billion.

The BOS also reported to auditors that out of 947,234 employers registered with it, 916,229 or 96.73% have outstanding payments of P315.23 billion, including principal and penalties.

“A significant portion of 671,841 or 73.33 percent of the total delinquent ERs (employers) with a total delinquency amount of P300.692 billion have (unsettled arrears) for more than five years,” CoA reported.

The BOS also reported that of the non-compliant employers, 36,248 were sent billing letters while 1,427 were referred to the Legal and Enforcement Group (LEG).

Auditors proposed a review of the Account Management System and implement stricter guidelines, fast track approval of procedures on the handling of non-compliant accounts, and consider another condonation program for those that failed to avail of the previous program and offer it for longer.

SSS management replied that the Manual of Procedures (MOP) order on the handling of delinquent employers is undergoing evaluation by the Management Support Services Division, with approval and implementation targeted before the end of the year. — Russell Louis C. Ku