The Social Security System (SSS) has renewed its partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to strengthen the monitoring of businesses’ SSS compliance as part of the pension fund’s campaign to protect its members from erring employers.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. disclosed that a new agreement provides for regular sharing of information between the SSS and local government units (LGUs), which will serve as basis in the issuance of business permits or licenses needed by employers to continue operating every year.

In an earlier arrangement between SSS and DILG dating back to 2001, employers and business operators were required to submit a Certificate of SSS Coverage and Compliance before they could secure a business permit or license, or “Mayor’s Permit,” from their LGU during the business renewal period at the start of every year.

Under the new agreement, SSS branches will provide their covered LGUs on the last business day of every year a list of registered employers, business owners or operators with SSS delinquencies. Employers with overdue SSS obligations will not be issued a Mayor’s Permit, although LGUs have the option to issue three-month temporary permits to give these businesses time to settle their delinquent SSS accounts.

If the validity of the temporary permit has lapsed after three months and the employer is still non-compliant, no regular permits will be issued to the employer until the SSS delinquency has been settled.

“This SSS-DILG agreement reflects the government’s aim to ensure that employers uphold their obligations to workers. Employers also stand to benefit because this simplifies the process of renewing their permits, and ultimately promote a more business-friendly environment,” de Quiros said.

“Since SSS account officers conduct ocular inspection of employers in their assigned areas, we will also update LGUs of businesses discovered to be operating without SSS registration. This helps the concerned LGU to verify if they also lack business permits,” he added.

LGUs, on the other hand, will give SSS branches a list of establishments with new or renewed business permits, and another list of businesses granted temporary permits, not later than the end of February every year.

De Quiros noted that the agreement, which took effect after it was signed last December 26, 2012, also provides for SSS participation in Business One-Stop Shops (BOSS) that LGUs set up during the business renewal period every January to help employers settle their SSS delinquencies.

The state-run SSS currently has over 600,000 registered businesses. The Social Security law requires employers to report newly-hired workers for SSS coverage within 30 days, deduct contributions from employees’ salaries, and remit workers’ monthly premiums to SSS on time.