Labor group accuses Calida firm of nonpayment of SSS premiums

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) on Sunday, July 1, said Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc allegedly failed to remit required payments to the Social Security System (SSS) "for years," a charge the company denied.

Vigilant Security is owned by Solicitor General Jose Calida's family. The company provides security personnel in several government offices such as the House of Representatives, the Department of Justice, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, among others.

In a statement on Sunday, ALU-TUCP said Vigilant Security has been operating in "blatant violation" of labor standards.

"It is the moral and legal obligation of the Vigilant Security Agency (VSA) as principal employer to ensure that all its employees' monthly SSS deductions are remitted to the system in time," said ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.

"The timely and faithful payments of SSS are also a crucial safety net protection when their employees reached retirement age," he added.

In a letter sent to Rappler on Friday, July 6, Vigilant's counsel Jose A. Bernas denied this, saying "The statements attributed to ALU-TUCP are utterly false."   

"Vigilant remits to the SSS all amounts that are due. Vigilant is not aware of any SSS related delinquency or complaints," he added. 

ALU-TUCP urged the SSS to investigate Vigilant Security's alleged nonpayment of SSS premiums and to retroactively issue payments for the period of noncompliance.

The labor group also called on the Department of Labor and Employment to look into the practices of Vigilant Security to ensure it complies with general labor, occupational safety, and health standards for its employees.

"The VSA is no sacred cow. The rule of law must be applied to all establishments including VSA to ensure that all its employees are protected," Tanjusay said. – Rappler.com  

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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