THE SOCIAL Security System (SSS) said its contribution collections likely grew by double digits in the first semester.
“We are still ahead compared to last year, siguro (maybe) easily close to 13% in our collections,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc told reporters on Tuesday.
However, Mr. Dooc noted the pension fund has yet to complete its midyear assessment on its performance.
If realized, collections would accelerate from the 7.64% growth logged in the first three months of the year where it raised a total of P42.57 billion.
It would also be faster than the 10.64% growth rate recorded in the first semester of 2017, when contributions reached P78.64 billion.
“We have been intensifying our collection efforts. I have been…going to the provinces to visit our delinquent employers and even arrest those who are a bit guilty,” said Mr. Dooc.
He added that the second package of the tax reform program could help the SSS shore up contributions.
“With more businesses, with more active small businesses with lower corporate income tax, our economy will grow. And will have more members capable of paying higher contributions. So that will help us achieve our mission of providing affordable universal and meaningful social security benefits,” Mr. Dooc said.
The government’s second tax reform package seeks to lower corporate income tax to 25% from the current 30%, and streamline fiscal incentives.
“This will help us because it will mean more business activities will attract investments.”
Mr. Dooc said the SSS is “hard-pressed” to raise revenues after it implemented the first P1,000 monthly pension hike last year, which has been pulling down its net income.
He said the SSS needs to raise P16 billion a month just to pay out benefits.
He said he is optimistic that the Senate could approve the amendments to the SSS charter this quarter so the bill could advance into the bicameral conference committee and eventually signed into law.
The amendment would allow SSS to raise members’ contribution rates and minimum salary credit to generate revenue, without necessary approval from President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
Moreover, the SSS official said the pension fund has about 36 million registered contributors as of the first half, but noted that it needs to widen its base.
“But based on NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) numbers, our employee force should be between 42 to 43 million, so uncovered pa kami ng mga six to seven million since we’re still at 36 million, and only have 15 million actively paying,” Mr. Dooc said.
“So medyomarami pa and we still have huge potential. Kaya lang marami doon kasi one time lang nagbayad. Yung iba nag-report then nawalan na naman ng trabaho,” he added. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan