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PAG-IBIG issues ultimatum to employers

By Cynthia Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:21:00 07/04/2009

Filed Under: Consumer Issues, Employment

MANILA, Philippines--The Home Development Mutual Fund or PAG-IBIG Fund is giving delinquent employers until the last working day of December this year to register with the fund and remit membership contributions and employer counterpart or face prosecution.

Raffy Odes Abano, PAG-IBIG senior vice president for housing operations sector, and Voltaire de la Rosa, vice president for management services group, said the deadline was set to give employers more time to comply with the law.

The two were guests on Saturday on the radio program, ? Para Sa Iyo, Bayan,? hosted by Vice President Noli de Castro, chair of the PAG-IBIG Board of Trustees and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

De la Rosa said that the deadline for registration and payment was part of the fund?s ?penalty condonation program? for delinquent companies or employers.

He said that employers who availed themselves of condonation would be required either to pay the unremitted amount plus interest in full or submit a plan of payment within seven days from the filing of their application for condonation.

?Kasi nai-deduct na nila, hinawakan nila iyong pera ng mga empleyado at napakinabangan nila kaya dapat bayaran nila ang penalties,? De la Rosa stressed.

Abano said he expected many delinquent employers to apply for condonation as the Fund?s enforcement group will go after them in court after the deadline.

He stressed that PAG-IBIG membership was mandatory under Presidential Decree 1752, just like membership in the Social Security System for private employees and the Government Service Insurance System for government workers.

De Castro said that eligible under the condonation program are employers who are not registered with the fund, those whose applications for waiver from fund coverage were denied but who failed to register, and companies that are duly registered with the fund but did not collect employee contributions and did not remit employer counterpart.

He said that applications for condonation will be evaluated based on the following grounds: financial difficulty to meet the company?s statutory obligation under PD 1752 as amended; failure of concerned official to register the covered employees and/or remit the required contributions pursuant to PD 1752 as amended, and such failure has not been brought to the knowledge of higher management; coverage under PD1752 as amended has been unsuccessfully contested in court; and other grounds/reasons acceptable to the Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees?.

An employer who fails to collect or remit the employee and employer contributions due for the current period will also be charged a three percent penalty for every month of delay.



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