ORMOC, Leyte – The Social Security System (SSS) collected P12.51 billion in contributions from employers and members in the Visayas last year, which was higher by 14 percent from the P10.99 billion total for the same area in 2014.
SSS Senior Vice President for Visayas Operations Group Helen C. Solito said the steep jump in remittances from branch account employers, which refer to those with less than a hundred employees, helped propel collections in Visayas to a double-digit growth last year.
“Branch account collections surged by 26 percent to P4.53 billion last year, which is a good implication that our current initiatives in implementing stricter SSS policies and promoting employer compliance have been effective in our Visayas operations,” Solito said.
Collections from large account employers, which are companies with 100 workers or more, grew by seven percent from P5.70 billion in 2014 to P6.08 billion last year, and accounted for nearly half of the total contributions paid in Visayas in 2015.
SSS strategies to further increase contribution collections among large and branch accounts include intensified monitoring of workers’ payroll, issuing billing statements starting with the list of top 20 delinquent employers in a given area, and encouraging employers to settle their delinquent accounts through installment basis or “dacion en pago” or payment in property.
Solito said conducting payroll audits helps the SSS identify irregularities committed by employers such as non-reporting or under-reporting of employees, and non-remittance or under-remittance of contributions.
“We also aim to reduce the number of delinquent employers through strict implementation of 30-day rule on aging period. This means that if a certain employer stays delinquent after 30 days, we will immediately refer the case to our Cluster Legal Units for proper legal action such as issuance of demand letters or filing of cases for extreme situations,” she explained.
Meanwhile, contributions from self-employed and voluntary members, which made up 15 percent of total collections in Visayas, jumped by 13 percent from P1.68 billion in 2014 to P1.90 billion in 2015.
“We continue our efforts to encourage self-employed and voluntary members, especially those from the informal sector, to pay their contributions regularly and to select premiums with high monthly salary credit so that they could maximize the use of their benefits and privileges,” Solito said.
The SSS also authorized cooperatives and microfinance institutions as collecting partner agents (CPAs) which will collect contributions, loan amortizations and miscellaneous payments from their own members and clients, a move that benefits workers especially in the self-employed and informal sectors.
“Partnering with organized groups is proven to be effective not only in providing social security protection to informal sector workers but also in increasing the amount of contribution collections. CPAs located in Visayas were able to remit a total of P2.63 million in 2015, which when compared with the P1.36 million total in 2014 shows a huge growth of more than 90 percent,” Solito noted.
Currently, there are five SSS-accredited CPAs in Visayas region, namely St. Elizabeth Community Development Program, Pintuyan National Vocational School Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Dao Multi-purpose Cooperative, Guadalupe Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Tubungan Employees Multi-purpose Cooperative.