A rice mill owner has been convicted of violating Republic Act 8282 or the Social Security Act of 1997 by the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela after not remitting more than P50,000 in Social Security System (SSS) monthly contributions of her employees.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said that Eliza Manalata, owner of Block M Enterprises, is sentenced to a jail term of six years and one day and directed to pay a fine of P20,000.
“The conviction of Manalata shows that SSS is serious in running after all erring employers. It does not matter whether the delinquency is big or small, if employers violate the law then they have to be punished,” Dooc said.
Based on the decision, Manalata failed to pay the monthly contributions of her employees from April 2000 to March 2003 amounting to P59,829.73 despite demand letters by SSS Cauayan.
She was subpoenaed to court and notified several times through her last known home and business addresses but did not appear at the hearing. Three of the notices and subpoenas were even served personally by the Philippine National Police of Santiago, Isabela.
Record shows that Manalata’s lawyer, Atty. Carol Donato of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) informed the Cauayan RTC on June 7, 2017 that the accused could not be located. PAO issued a letter directing Manalata to go to their office for the preparation of her case but she did not respond.
“Manalata missed her chance to defend herself in court or a possible out-of-court settlement. Her failure to appear in court is a prima facie evidence of her guilt in violating the law,” said Dooc.
Dooc calls on the employees of Manalata and the public to report to SSS her whereabouts so she could serve her jail term and the pension fund could collect the members’ contributions she did not pay.
“Once again, we remind employers of their responsibility to report their workers for SSS coverage and remit employees’ contributions in full and on time. We call on members to remain vigilant in monitoring their monthly SSS contributions to ensure that their employers fulfill their obligations,” said Dooc.
Rice Mill Owner Gets 6 Years in Jail for Unpaid SSS Contributions
4/ 5Oleh BNP Correspondent