Govt imposes 'No SSS, No business permit renewal' policy

Entrance to SSS members' assistance center. Photo by Bernard Testa means BUSINESS

MANILA - No SSS remittance, no business permit renewal.

This is the new policy contained in an agreement that the Social Security System and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed on December 26, 2012.

In a statement, SSS president Emilio de Quiros Jr. said the agreement provides for regular sharing between the SSS and local government units (LGUs) of information that will form the basis for issuing business permits or licenses each year.

In 2001, SSS and DILG had an arrangement that would require employers and business operators to submit a Certificate of SSS Coverage and Compliance before they could secure a business permit or license from their LGU at the start of every year.

With this new agreement, SSS branches will provide their covered LGUs a list of registered employers, business owners or operators with SSS delinquencies on the last business day of every year. This would then be the basis for the LGU to deny employers with overdue SSS obligations a mayor’s permit. However, the LGU has the option to issue three-month temporary permits to give these businesses time to settle their delinquent SSS accounts.

If the temporary permit has lapsed after three months and the employer is still non-compliant, the LGU cannot issue a regular permit to the employer until the SSS delinquency has been settled.

"This SSS-DILG agreement reflects the government’s aim to ensure that employers uphold their obligations to workers. Employers also stand to benefit because this simplifies the process of renewing their permits, and ultimately promote a more business-friendly environment," de Quiros said.

As SSS account officers conduct ocular inspection of employers in their assigned areas, the pension fund can update LGUs of businesses discovered to be operating without SSS registration. This helps the concerned LGU to verify if they also lack business permits.

LGUs in turn will give SSS branches a list of establishments with new or renewed business permits, and another list of businesses granted temporary permits, not later than the end of February every year.

The agreement between the two agencies also provides for SSS participation in Business One-Stop Shops (BOSS) that LGUs set up during the business renewal period every January to help employers settle their SSS delinquencies.

SSS has over 600,000 registered businesses and under the Social Security Law, employers are required to report newly-hired workers for SSS coverage within 30 days, deduct contributions from employees’ salaries, and remit workers’ monthly premiums to SSS on time.