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SSS urged to come clean on uncollected premiums

By: - Correspondent / @melvingasconINQ
/ 07:01 AM February 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines–Party-list group Bayan Muna on Friday reiterated its call for the Social Security System (SSS) to come clean and open its books to the public on the billions of uncollected premiums, instead of making blanket denials and charges of politicking.

In a statement, Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares challenged SSS president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Dooc to be transparent, saying that SSS members and pensioners deserved to know the full financial standing of the agency.

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Official COA findings

Colmenares belied Dooc’s claim that the figures Bayan Muna cited were “old,” saying these had been culled from official Commission on Audit (COA) findings on uncollected premiums.

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Contrary to Dooc’s claims, the latest figures from COA showed that the amount of uncollected premiums have actually been increasing since 2016, Colmenares said.

“Is Mr. Dooc disputing these? In fact, he himself admits that they are collecting premiums from only 15 to 16 million out of 36 million SSS members. That’s dismal and leaves so much room for improvement,” said the Makabayan senatorial bet.

Citing COA figures, Colmenares said SSS failed to collect some P13.6 billion from 61,260 employers in 2013; collections dipped to P8.2 billion (97,366 employers) in 2014 and P4.9 billion (13,886 employers) in 2015; it grew to P8.04 billion (38,088 employers) in 2016 and P13.8 billion (122,658 employers) in 2017.

P24B uncollected

“Dooc himself said on Wednesday that the SSS uncollected premiums have slid to P24 billion in established delinquency accounts and P79 billion in outstanding loans,” he said.

Unless SSS officials present details, the public has no way of knowing how they are addressing the problem, Colmenares said.

But instead of making full disclosures to its members, SSS officials have reportedly sidestepped the issues.

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For instance, SSS has yet to declare how much collectibles they have condoned and scrapped from their list pursuant to Republic Act No. 9903 or the Social Security Condonation Law of 2009, signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“And for their so-called increased collection efficiency, what percentage of their total membership have they collected from?” he asked.

He said that for SSS to immediately resort to collecting additional contributions from members without first improving collection efficiency smacks of “laziness (gawaing-tamad).”

“That is very unfair especially to the paying members. And they have the gall to blame the retirees because of the increase in their pension?” he added.

For his part, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate defended Colmenares against Dooc’s charges of politicking.

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TAGS: Neri Colmenares, premiums, Social Security System, SSS
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