The Parañaque City Regional Trial Court (RTC) convicted Alberto S. Surla, owner of A.S. Surla Construction, for the non-remittance of deducted Social Security System (SSS) contributions of his employees in violation of Republic Act 8282, otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 1997.
SSS Assistant Vice President for Operations Legal Department (OLD) Atty. Renato Jacinto S. Cuisia said Surla was sentenced to pay a fine of P10,000 and serve imprisonment ranging from a minimum period of six years and one day up to a maximum period of seven years.
Cuisia explained that the penalty imposed by law is non-probationable, which meant that it can no longer be reduced because the decision rendered by the court is considered final and executory.
“Moreover, the total collectible of P1,117,013.52, consisting of contribution delinquencies and the three percent monthly penalty imposed for late payment of SSS premiums, shall continue to run until the principal amount has been fully paid, in accordance with Section 22 of the SSS charter,” Cuisia said.
The Paranaque City RTC Branch 194 issued a Warrant of Arrest against Surla, including a Writ of Execution dated March 18, 2014, for its decision dated February 24, 2014 requiring the accused to remit the unpaid civil liabilities.
However, the said writ remains unsatisfied and the warrant of arrest remains unserved for the sentence imposed on him.
“We would like to seek assistance from the public that if they have any information on the whereabouts of the accused, kindly inform the SSS OLD at contact number 922-1057 in order for us to take the necessary steps since there is a standing warrant of arrest for Mr. Surla, who is now a fugitive of the law,” said Cuisia.
Under the Social Security Law, every employer is required to report its employees within 30 days from the first day employment, and to remit their deducted monthly contributions plus its corresponding share of the SSS premiums. Otherwise, employers face criminal charges as provided by law.
For the past six years, SSS sued over 15,400 employers for failure to report employees for SSS coverage and refusal to remit monthly contributions of workers. Out of this number, 26 were sentenced to jail for non-compliance of their duties and obligations under the Social Security Law, while most opted to settle their liabilities.