Court sends camera store owner to jail for SSS violations

A camera store owner was sentenced to imprisonment by the lower court due to non-reporting of employees and non-remittance of contributions to the Social Security System (SSS) in violation of Republic Act 8282 or the Social Security Act of 1997 (SS Law).

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 225 sentenced Rogelio C. Almonina, President of M20 Enterprises, to a maximum of 12 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of P10,000.

“Aside from imprisonment, Almonina was also ordered by the lower court to pay the unremitted SSS contributions of his employees from April 2008 to September 2013 amounting to P31,548 plus penalties amounting to P51,824.47 as of July 31, 2015,” said Dooc.

Dooc added that Almonina’s payable amount to SSS will continue to incur a three percent monthly penalty accruing from July 31, 2015 until fully paid.

Based on the decision, SSS conducted a monitoring of M20 after it had received a letter of complaint from Carlos Claveria, one of its employees. In the complaint, Claveria said that his company did not report him for SSS coverage and did not remit his monthly contributions.

As a standard procedure, SSS issued a billing letter to Almonina, which the latter received on November 26, 2013. After SSS had not received compliance from him, another billing letter was issued in 2014 but it was still not acted upon by Almonina. His continued noncompliance led the SSS to issue a demand letter against him.

“During the hearing, Almonina waived his right to present evidence, which will disprove the allegations against him. SSS was able to show that Almonina neglected in his duty to report his employees and pay the corresponding contributions,” said Dooc.

Dooc explained that failure to report employees and non-remittance of SSS premiums are violations of the SS Law, which mandates employers to report their employees for SSS coverage beginning the first day of work and to remit their contributions to the pension fund within 30 days.

“We want to reiterate that employers have the responsibility to report all their employees and to pay their monthly contributions religiously. When employers don’t remit SSS contributions, they are depriving their employees of the benefits that belong to them and SSS won’t tolerate that,” warned Dooc.