House committee OKs bill authorizing SSC to condone penalties on delinquent SSS contributors

MANILA — A House of Representatives committee has approved a bill which seeks to authorize the Social Security Commission to condone penalties on delinquent contributors regardless of the amount involved under such valid terms and conditions it may prescribe.

The House committee on government enterprises and privatization, chaired by North Cotabato Rep. Jesus N. Sacdalan approved Wednesday House Bill No. 2776, authored by Sorsogon Rep. Evelina G. Escudero, who said the condonation can be done through the amendment of Sections 4, 18 and 22 of Republic Act 1161, otherwise known as the Social Security Law, as amended.

The committee supported the view of Escudero that the SSS must be given the flexibility and prerogative to enhance collection of contributions, especially delinquent ones, and be in consonance with the demands of a viable Social Security System given the changes brought about by social, economic and other pertinent indicators.

Section 4 of RA 1161 pertains to the powers and duties of the Social Security Commission.

The proposed amendment authorizes the Social Security Commission to compromise or release, in whole or in part,any penalty imposed upon unpaid member loans under conditions such as when the employer’s financial position clearly demonstrates inability to pay the assessed delinquency.

The Social Security Commission shall also submit to both Houses of Congress an annual report on the exercise of its power of compromise or condonation.

The proposal also grants the Commission power to adjust the minimum and maximum contributions, the rate of penalty on due but unremitted contributions and unpaid loan amortizations.

Lastly, the bill seeks the amendment of Section 22 which pertains to Remittance of Contributions. The amendment provides: “The rate of the penalty on delinquent contributions per month shall be determined and fixed by the Commission through rules and regulations taking into consideration the current inflation rate and other relevant socio-economic data.” Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA/