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The Social Security System (SSS) is set to impose additional modes of collection starting April thru Warrants of Distraint, Levy and Garnishment (WDLG) against about 60,000 delinquent employers nationwide causing the seizure and acquisition of personal and real properties and garnishment of bank accounts equivalent to the amount of unpaid contributions including interest and penalty.
The WDLG is provided for under Section 22 of Republic Act 8282 otherwise known as Social Security Act of 1997. These modes of collection are similar to the collection system of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against delinquent taxpayers. Also, SSS launched early last year the Run Against Contribution Evaders, a program parallel to BIR’s Run Against Tax Evaders Program.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the new policy is to ensure that employers are unable to dispose their properties to evade their obligations in paying employees’ SSS monthly contributions.
“This is a warning against delinquent employers who continue to ignore their responsibility with the SSS. With this new policy, SSS can now seize their personal and real properties as well as credits and other properties in the hand of the third party as payments to the delinquency owed by them,” said Dooc.
Dooc added that with the WDLG, SSS is hoping to collect more than P5.3 billion worth of contributions from erring employers on its pilot year.
Based on the WDLG guidelines, the SSS will issue a Letter of Authority and Preliminary Assessment Notice (PAN) containing the amount of total delinquency to the employer. After 15 days, a Final Assessment Notice Before Seizure (FANS) will be sent to the employer with an instruction to pay the amount stated.
The employer must file a protest if it does not agree with the FANS issued by the SSS. Protest against the FANS must be made either in the form of Request for Reconsideration based on existing records within 15 days or a Request for Reconciliation based on newly discovered or additional evidence within 30 days from the date of receipt.
“The employers must file a protest within the prescribed period at the SSS office or Large Accounts Department (LAD) that issued the FANS. Failure to protest the FANS will result in the issuance of the WDLG by SSS authorized signatories,” said Dooc.
Dooc added that after seizure of the personal and real properties and garnishment of bank accounts of the delinquent employer, the SSS will schedule a public sale in no less than 20 days.
However, the state-agency head clarified that if the employer pays its contributions delinquency including penalties, damages and expenses prior the public sale, the warrants issued will be lifted and the properties levied, distrained or garnished will be restored to the owner.
“The proceeds of the sale of property will be applied to the total amount of delinquency including other expenses. However, if the proceeds are not enough, the SSS can still collect the deficiency from the employer,” said Dooc.
Dooc emphasized that if the WDLG will be unsuccessful because the employer has no more properties or they cannot be located, the case will be referred to the Legal Enforcement Group of SSS for filing of a criminal charges.
The WDLG provision in the SS charter was implemented thru the efforts of the Social Security Commission (SSC) composed of Vice-Chairman and PCEO Dooc, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III as ex-officio member, Commissioners Gonzalo T. Duque, Michael G. Regino, Anita B. Quitain, Diana Pardo-Aguilar and Arthur L. Amansec. The Office of President Rodrigo Duterte approved the implementation of WDLG.
Relatedly, Dooc reminds employers of their responsibility and commitment to report their employees and pay for their SSS contributions on time. He encourages them to help SSS in providing the benefits needed by members.
“Again, we would like to remind employers to report their employees for SSS coverage within 30 days from start of work and to remit their monthly contributions religiously. Let us work together in providing meaningful benefits to our workers,” Dooc said.