SSS, drivers file P6.8-M complaint vs 4 taxi operators

Philstar file photo

MANILA, Philippines – More than 60 taxi drivers and the Social Security System (SSS) filed criminal complaints on Friday before the Prosecutor’s Office of Quezon City against four transport operators for their alleged deliberate failure to remit P6.8 million in social security contributions from their employees.

In a press statement issued Monday, June 19, the SSS identified the four transport operators as EPE Transport Inc., JME Transport Inc., R&E Transport Inc., and Nine Stars Transport Corporation, which are owned and managed by members of the Enriquez family.

During the case filing, Edgardo Acaso, leader of the Association of Genuine Labor Organization, which represents employees of the transport firm, said they only wanted to avail themselves of their benefits based on “what is mandated by law which will only follow if our contributions deducted from our monthly pay is remitted by our companies.”

The SSS said it had already sent several billing and demand letters to the registered address of the four transport companies it Caloocan City but the firms still allegedly refused to pay the premium contributions of their employees.

Unremitted contributions since the 1990s

Investigations by the SSS showed that the transport companies failed to remit the social security contributions of their employees for at least 14 years.

According to SSS documents, JME Transport did not remit social security contributions from its 29 employees including penalties worth P4.013 million from January 1994 to April 2016.

Meanwhile, Nine Stars Transport Corp. failed to remit P535,995 worth of contributions from its four employees, covering August 2002 to April 2016.

R&E Transport Inc.’s delinquencies reached P1.69 million from January 1996 to April 2016 while that of EPE Transport Inc. totaled P629,162 from February 1998 to April 2016.

All the estimated failed remittances and penalties were computed as of June 30, 2016 and will be subject to re-assessment, according to the SSS.

SSS Accounts Officer Mayonito Fesalbon said the taxi companies had willfully violated Republic Act 8282 or the Social Security Law, particularly the law’s provisions on the employer’s non-remittance or under-remittance of monthly social security contributions of employees.

The Social Security Law mandates employers to deduct social security contributions and to remit these to the SSS. If remitted late, the employer would pay a penalty amounting to three percent “per month from the date the contribution falls due until paid.”

SSS President Emmanuel F. Dooc vowed to continue going after corporations that evade contributions to the state-run social insurance agency.

“We will continue to hunt down delinquent employers as part of our Run After Contributions Evaders (RACE) or Operation Tokhang program, and these four corporations are just a few of the many companies who are not giving what is due to our workers based on the SS Law,” Dooc said in a statement.

“We will make sure that our members get the right benefits according to their contributions so employers should remit promptly and religiously,” he added.