The Social Security System will collect more than P1.39 million worth of unpaid contributions and penalty following the conviction of two delinquent employers by two branches of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.
SSS president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Dooc said Quezon City RTCs convicted Luz Espiritu of Espiritu Petron Service Station and Rosita Agustin of Ruther Fish Dealer for non-remittance of SSS contributions, a clear violation of Republic Act 8282 or Social Security Act of 1997, commonly referred to as the SS Law.
“It is unfortunate that despite several chances given to them to settle their obligations, they still refused to fulfill their duty to their employees who devoted so much time in helping their businesses to prosper,” Dooc said.
Quezon City RTC Branch 100 sentenced Espiritu to a minimum jail term of seven years to a maximum of 10 years and was ordered to pay the unremitted contributions from October 1989 to November 2014 worth P289,372.16 and accumulated three percent penalty until fully paid.
As of October 2017, the financial liability of the accused ballooned to over P1.25 million based on the Statement of Account Details provided by SSS.
“Instead of taking the initiative to settle her delinquencies and presenting evidences to defend herself, Espiritu remained silent and didn’t appear to court hearings. Hence, the court released the final verdict,” Dooc explained.
Meanwhile, Quezon City RTC Branch 96 sentenced Agustin to suffer imprisonment of six years and one day to seven years and was ordered to pay the total contribution delinquency from May 2000 to August 2011 worth P140,880, fine in the amount of P10,000 and accrued 3 percent penalty until fully paid.
Based on the court decision, Francisco Coronel testified that the accused was his former employer and she neglected her duty of remitting his SSS premiums.
However, Agustin contested that she didn’t hire Coronel as a regular employee since he was only contracted to drive for her on a particular day and he was only paid based on their daily service agreement.
After the presentation of evidence by the prosecution and defense, the court was able to determine that an employer-employee relationship existed between the accused and the complainant. Agustin had direct supervision on Coronel by instructing him to deliver fish at Farmer’s Market in Cubao, Quezon City.
“The fact that Coronel is Agustin’s regular employee and yet she refused to register and remit his contributions is a clear violation of the Social Security Law,” Dooc explained.
The SSS chief once again reminded all employers to fulfill their statutory obligations by reporting all their employees and to pay their monthly contributions and loan amortizations to SSS.
“SSS will continue to fulfill its mandate of promoting social justice and providing meaningful protection to its members. That’s why we will never stop in running after these erring employers who keep on neglecting their duty of providing adequate safety nets to their employees,” Dooc said.