The Social Security System (SSS) announced that authorities arrested two employers who were convicted of non-compliance to the Social Security Law in separate operations in the previous months.
Authorities arrested Antonio Perlas, owner of Red Lion Pub, in Barangay Tuding, Itogon, Benguet last July 31, 2020, and Larry T. Ferrer, owner of Ads Central, in Alaminos, Pangasinan on 26 August 2020.
Antonio Perlas (Red Lion Pub)
Last October 30, 2019, Perlas, SSS’ most wanted employer in Luzon North 1 Division, was convicted by the Baguio Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 7 for violation of Section 24 (d), in relation to Sec. 18 (a) and Sec. 19 (a) and (b) of Republic Act No. 8282 (now, R.A. No. 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2018).
Perlas violated the said provisions by failing to produce records as prescribed by the SSS, deduct employee’s share of contributions from his employees’ compensations, pay the employer’s share of contributions, and remit them to the SSS.
He was sentenced to six years in prison and to pay his obligations amounting to over P16.8 million, as computed by the RTC Sheriff as of August 2020. He failed to appear during the last scheduled hearing for promulgation with no acceptable excuse. The said RTC ordered his arrest.
Larry Ferrer (Ads Central)
The case against Ferrer was provisionally dismissed back on 19 August 2015 because of his proposal to pay to the SSS in installment his employees’ contributions that he failed to remit, including penalties for late payments.
He had fully paid his principal obligation; however, penalties amounting to P40,172.04 remained unsettled. For this reason, the case against him was revived on 27 January 2017.
The trial proceeded in absentia as, back then, he remained at large despite the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
In a decision dated 21 May 2020, the Baguio RTC Branch 7 found Ferrer guilty for violation of Sec. 22 (a), in relation to Sec. 22 (d) and 28 (e) of R.A. No. 8282. He will serve a sentence of six years and one day up to a maximum of eight years in prison and pay his SSS obligation of P40,172.04 plus three percent monthly interest accumulated from 19 August 2015.
The said penalties could have been condoned through the SSS’ Contribution Penalty Condonation Program for Employers when it was still offered. Ferrer, however, did not avail of the said program.
“We reiterate our message to all other delinquent employers that they will not be excused from the law. Any minor or major violation against the SS Law has corresponding legal repercussions as it deprives private-sector workers of social security benefits due to them,” SSS President and CEO Aurora C. Ignacio said.
Ignacio also expressed her gratitude to the Baguio RTC Branch 7, the Philippine National Police, and the National Bureau of Investigation for their continuous efforts in support of SSS programs to guarantee that justice is served to violators of the SS Law even with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation.
She added that the SSS, for its part, will continuously uphold every worker’s right to social security so that they may avail of the benefits and loans it provides.
SSS’ benefit programs are its members’ and their beneficiaries’ safety net in times of sickness, maternity, unemployment, retirement, disability, death, and other contingencies that cause loss of income or financial burden.
The number of their contributions determines entitlement to these programs. When employers neglect their obligations under the SS Law, their employees cannot avail of the programs that SSS offers.
For complaints regarding non-remittance, non-reporting, and other related concerns, members are encouraged to contact the SSS branch nearest to their employer’s business address. Telephone numbers of SSS branches may be accessed through the branch directory at www.sss.gov.ph or the “SSS Branches” tab on the SSS Mobile App.
For more information, follow the official SSS Facebook page at the “Philippine Social Security System,” Instagram Account at “Mysssph,” or Twitter Feed at “PHLSSS.”* (Charisse Magdalene L. Avila, Acting Sr. Communications Analyst, Visayas West 1 Division)