Friday, 8 January 2010

PGMA visits relocated families in NHA project in Laguna, signs SSS condonation law

MANILA (PNA) -– President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited on Thursday the relocated families at the National Housing Authority (NHA) Project in Southville and Northville Relocation Sites in Calauan, Laguna.

This is the place where 3,000 families displaced by Typhoons “Ondoy” and and “Pepeng” last September 2009 have been relocated.

President Arroyo also witnessed the turnover ceremony of 37 school buildings at the relocation sites.

NHA officials said students residing in the Southville and Northville projects need not worry anymore about going to and from schools nearby.

The newly-turned over schools was approved by NHA Board of Directors under Board Resolution No. 5132 dated October 23, 2008. It is part of NHA’s post relocation services to nurture resettled communities.

The newly-built school buildings follow the Department of Education (DepEd) standard design for a three-storey 15-classroom school building.

The President said the relocation expenditures for the flood victims reached almost P600 million.

With President Arroyo at the event is Vice President Noli de Castro who said except for the first batch of 3,000 evacuees, another 5,000 residents will be moved to the relocation sites.

The President also handed out checks to the residents for the their livelihood projects in the relocation sites.

President Arroyo also signed Republic Act 9903 or the SSS Condonation Law, which gives amnesty to employers who have failed to pay premium contributions to the Social Security System (SSS).

The SSS will fully condone penalties slapped on employers for unpaid dues. Installment options will also be offered for settling unpaid contributions.

Those who opt to pay in installment may initially remit 5 percent of the contributions, with the rest to be paid over three-and-a-half years at 3 percent yearly interest.

If employers fail to remit the unpaid contributions within the amnesty period, the penalties will be reimposed.

More than 164,000 delinquent employers are expected to benefit from the law, with the state pension fund for private sector employees expected to collect as much as P7.71 billion in unpaid dues.

Latest data showed that the SSS halved its net income to P8.37 billion in the first half from a year earlier, mainly due to lack of one-time gains from the sale of equities. (PNA)

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