Solon seeks to condone unpaid SSS contributions of ‘kasambahay’

MANILA – A senator has proposed to condone penalties for unpaid Social Security System (SSS) contributions of household employers.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Friday said the measure is a “win-win solution” after the PHP1,000 increase in the monthly salary of the kasambahay (household worker) in Metro Manila was approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in June.

“Delinquent household employers will be given a reprieve while the kasambahay can now avail of the benefits from the government-run insurance program which they have been deprived of due to unremitted contributions of their employers,” Estrada said in a statement.

Estrada filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 43 which seeks not only to cover the employers of 200,000 household workers in the National Capital Region but also the estimated 1.4 million domestic workers throughout the country.

The senator is also the principal author of Republic Act (RA) 10361, or Domestic Workers Act that protect the rights of domestic workers against abuse, harassment, violence, economic exploitation and performance of work that is hazardous to their physical and mental health; and ensures safe and healthful working conditions and promotes gender-sensitive measures in the policies and programs affecting the local domestic work.

A survey by the Department of Labor and Employment and the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that as of October 2019 or six years since the enactment of RA 10361, some 83 percent of the 1.4 million household workers still do not enjoy any social security benefit.

The SSS said as of March 2019, the number of household employers registered with them stood at 267,478.

Estrada said instead of taking a punitive stance against delinquent employers, there is a need to build a more collaborative partnership with them.

“Besides, the ultimate goal of Batas Kasambahay is to promote the welfare of our domestic workers and ensure their healthy and productive relationship with their employers,” he said. “This will encourage them to comply with the laws and continue paying their contributions for their kasambahay.”

SBN 43 will allow household employers, who have not remitted contributions due to the SSS, to settle or submit a proposal to pay their unpaid contributions on an installment basis within six months following the enactment of the measure.

If the employer fails to remit contributions within the six-month grace period or defaults in the payment of any amortization provided in the approved proposal, the prescribed penalty shall be imposed from the time the contributions first became due as provided in the Social Security Act or RA 8282.

Unregistered household employers and those with cases pending before the courts or Office of the Prosecutor involving the collection of contributions or penalties will also be covered by the proposed condonation. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency