565 Phil. 193
[Impact Corporation] has been and still is engaged in the business of manufacturing aluminum tube containers x x x.On 8 May 1985, the union of Impact Corporation filed a Notice of Strike with the Ministry of Labor which was followed by a declaration of strike on 28 July 1985. Subsequently, the Ministry of Labor certified the labor dispute for compulsory arbitration to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in an Order dated 25 August 1985. The Ministry of Labor, in the same Order, noted the inability of Impact Corporation to pay wages, 13th month pay, and SSS remittances due to cash liquidity problems. A portion of the order reads:x x x x
In brief, it is an on-going, viable, and profitable enterprise.
On the claims of unpaid wages, unpaid 13th month pay and non-remittance of loan amortization and SSS premiums, we are for directing the company to pay the same to the workers and to remit loan amortizations and SSS premiums previously deducted from their wages to the Social Security System. Such claims were never contested by the company both during the hearing below and in our office. In fact, such claims were admitted by the company although it alleged cash liquidity as the main reason for such non-payment.On 3 July 1985, the Social Security System (SSS), through its Legal and Collection Division (LCD), filed a case before the SSC for the collection of unremitted SSS premium contributions withheld by Impact Corporation from its employees. The case which impleaded Impact Corporation as respondent was docketed as SSC Case No. 10048.
WHEREFORE, the dispute at Impact Corporation is hereby certified to the National Labor Relations Commission for compulsory arbitration in accordance with Article 264 (g) of the Labor Code, as amended.
x x x x
The company is directed to pay all the entitled workers unpaid wages, unpaid 13th month pay and to remit to the Social Security System loan amortizations and SSS premiums previously deducted from the wages of the workers.
Summonses were not served upon Eduardo de Leon, Pacita Fernandez, and Consuelo Villanueva, their whereabouts unknown. They were all later determined to be deceased. On the other hand, due to failure to file his responsive pleading, Ricardo de Leon was declared in default.
Period Unremitted Amount Penalties
(3% Interest Per
TOTAL August 1980 to
P 453,845.78 P49, 941.67 503,787.45 August 1981 to
P 10,856.85 P2, 474, 662.82 2,485,519.67
WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Commission finds, and so holds, that respondents Impact Corporation and/or Immaculada L. Garcia, as director and responsible officer of the said corporation, is liable to pay the SSS the amounts of P442,988.93, representing the unpaid SS contributions of their employees for the period August 1980 to December 1984, not inclusive, and P10,856.85, representing the balance of the unpaid SS contributions in favor of Donato Campos, Jaime Mascarenas, Bonifacio Franco and Romeo Fullon for the period August 1980 to December 1984, not inclusive, as well as the 3% per month penalty imposed thereon for late payment in the amounts of P3,194,548.63 and P78,441.33, respectively, computed as of April 30, 2003. This is without prejudice to the right of the SSS to collect the penalties accruing after April 30, 2003 and to institute other appropriate actions against the respondent corporation and/or its responsible officers.Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the afore-quoted Decision but it was denied for lack of merit in an Order dated 4 August 2004, thus:
Should the respondents pay their liability for unpaid SSS contributions within sixty (60) days from receipt of a copy of this Resolution, the 3% per month penalty for late payment thereof shall be deemed condoned pursuant to SSC Res. No. 397-S.97, as amended by SSC Res. Nos. 112-S.98 and 982-S.99, implementing the provision on condonation of penalty under Section 30 of R.A. No. 8282.
In the event the respondents fail to pay their liabilities within the aforestated period, let a writ of execution be issued, pursuant to Section 22 (c)  of the SS Law, as amended, for the satisfaction of their liabilities to the SSS.
Nowhere in the questioned Resolution dated May 28, 2003 is it stated that the other directors of the defunct Impact Corporation are absolved from their contribution and penalty liabilities to the SSS. It is certainly farthest from the intention of the petitioner SSS or this Commission to pin the entire liability of Impact Corporation on movant Immaculada L. Garcia, to the exclusion of the directors of the corporation namely: Eduardo de Leon, Ricardo de Leon, Pacita Fernandez and Conzuelo Villanueva, who were all impleaded as parties-respondents in this case.Petitioner elevated her case to the Court of Appeals via a Petition for Review. Respondent SSS filed its Comment dated 20 January 2005, and petitioner submitted her Reply thereto on 4 April 2005.
The case record shows that there was failure of service of summonses upon respondents Eduardo de Leon, Pacita Fernandez and Conzuelo Villanueva, who are all deceased, for the reason that their whereabouts are unknown. Moreover, neither the legal heirs nor the estate of the defaulted respondent Ricardo de Leon were substituted as parties-respondents in this case when he died on January 23, 1998. Needless to state, the Commission did not acquire jurisdiction over the persons or estates of the other directors of Impact Corporation, hence, it could not validly render any pronouncement as to their liabilities in this case.
Furthermore, the movant cannot raise in a motion for reconsideration the defense that she was no longer a director of Impact Corporation in 1982, when she was allegedly eased out by the managing directors of Impact Corporation as purportedly shown in the Deed of Sale and Assignment of Shares of Stock dated January 22, 1982. This defense was neither pleaded in her Motion to Dismiss dated January 17, 1996 nor in her Answer with Counterclaim dated May 18, 1999 and is, thus, deemed waived pursuant to Section 1, Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which has suppletory application to the Revised Rules of Procedure of the Commission.
Finally, this Commission has already ruled in the Order dated April 27, 1999 that since the original Petition was filed by the SSS on July 3, 1985, and was merely amended on December 1, 1995 to implead the responsible officers of Impact Corporation, without changing its causes of action, the same was instituted well within the 20-year prescriptive period provided under Section 22 (b) of the SS Law, as amended, considering that the contribution delinquency assessment covered the period August 1980 to December 1984.
In view thereof, the instant Motion for Reconsideration is hereby denied for lack of merit.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The assailed Resolution dated 28 May 2003 and the Order dated 4 August 2004 of the Social Security Commission are AFFIRMED in toto.Aggrieved, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the appellate court's Decision but her Motion was denied in a Resolution dated 8 December 2005.
Based on the foregoing, petitioner prays that the Decision dated 2 June 2005 and the Resolution dated 8 December 2005 of the Court of Appeals be reversed and set aside, and a new one be rendered absolving her of any and all liabilities under the Social Security Law.
- SECTION 28(F) OF THE SSS LAW PROVIDES THAT A MANAGING HEAD, DIRECTOR OR PARTNER IS LIABLE ONLY FOR THE PENALTIES OF THE EMPLOYER CORPORATION AND NOT FOR UNPAID SSS CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE EMPLOYER CORPORATION.
- UNDER THE SSS LAW, IT IS THE MANAGING HEADS, DIRECTORS OR PARTNERS WHO SHALL BE LIABLE TOGETHER WITH THE CORPORATION. IN THIS CASE, PETITIONER HAS CEASED TO BE A STOCKHOLDER OF IMPACT CORPORATION IN 1982. EVEN WHILE SHE WAS A STOCKHOLDER, SHE NEVER PARTICIPATED IN THE DAILY OPERATIONS OF IMPACT CORPORATION.
- UNDER SECTION 31 OF THE CORPORATION CODE, ONLY DIRECTORS, TRUSTEES OR OFFICERS WHO PARTICIPATE IN UNLAWFUL ACTS OR ARE GUILTY OF GROSS NEGLIGENCE AND BAD FAITH SHALL BE PERSONALLY LIABLE. OTHERWISE, BEING A MERE STOCKHOLDER, SHE IS LIABLE ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF HER SUBSCRIPTION.
- IMPACT CORPORATION SUFFERED IRREVERSIBLE ECONOMIC LOSSES, EVENTS WHICH WERE NEITHER DESIRED NOR CAUSED BY ANY ACT OF THE PETITIONER. THUS, BY REASON OF FORTUITOUS EVENTS, THE PETITIONER SHOULD BE ABSOLVED FROM LIABILITY.
- RESPONDENT SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM FAILED MISERABLY IN EXERTING EFFORTS TO ACQUIRE JURISDICTION OVER THE LEVIABLE ASSETS OF IMPACT CORPORATION, PERSON/S AND/OR ESTATE/S OF THE OTHER DIRECTORS OR OFFICERS OF IMPACT CORPORATION.
- THE HONORABLE COMMISSION SERIOUSLY ERRED IN NOT RENDERING A JUDGMENT BY DEFAULT AGAINST THE DIRECTORS UPON WHOM IT ACQUIRED JURISDICTION.
SEC. 22. Remittance of Contributions. -- (a) The contributions imposed in the preceding Section shall be remitted to the SSS within the first ten (10) days of each calendar month following the month for which they are applicable or within such time as the Commission may prescribe. Every employer required to deduct and to remit such contributions shall be liable for their payment and if any contribution is not paid to the SSS as herein prescribed, he shall pay besides the contribution a penalty thereon of three percent (3%) per month from the date the contribution falls due until paid. If deemed expedient and advisable by the Commission, the collection and remittance of contributions shall be made quarterly or semi-annually in advance, the contributions payable by the employees to be advanced by their respective employers: Provided, That upon separation of an employee, any contribution so paid in advance but not due shall be credited or refunded to his employer.Under Section 22(a), every employer is required to deduct and remit such contributions penalty refers to the 3% penalty that automatically attaches to the delayed SSS premium contributions. The spirit, rather than the letter of a law determines construction of a provision of law. It is a cardinal rule in statutory construction that in interpreting the meaning and scope of a term used in the law, a careful review of the whole law involved, as well as the intendment of the law, must be made. Nowhere in the provision or in the Decision can it be inferred that the persons liable are absolved from paying the unremitted premium contributions.
(f) If the act or omission penalized by this Act be committed by an association, partnership, corporation or any other institution, its managing head, directors or partners shall be liable to the penalties provided in this Act for the offense.This Court agrees in petitioner's observation that the SSS did not even deny nor rebut the claim that petitioner was not the "managing head" of Impact Corporation. However, the Court of Appeals rightly held that petitioner, as a director of Impact Corporation, is among those officers covered by Section 28(f) of the Social Security Law.
(1) the managing head;The said provision does not qualify that the director or partner should likewise be a "managing director" or "managing partner." The law is clear and unambiguous.
(2) directors; or
(3) partners, for offenses committed by a juridical person
SEC. 31. Liability of directors, trustees or officers. - Directors or trustees who willfully and knowingly vote for or assent to patently unlawful acts of the corporation or who are guilty of gross negligence or bad faith in directing the affairs of the corporation or acquire any personal or pecuniary interest in conflict with their duty as such directors, or trustees shall be liable jointly and severally for all damages resulting therefrom suffered by the corporation, its stockholders or members and other persons.Basic is the rule that a corporation is invested by law with a personality separate and distinct from that of the persons composing it as well as from that of any other legal entity to which it may be related. A corporation is a juridical entity with legal personality separate and distinct from those acting for and in its behalf and, in general, from the people comprising it. Following this, the general rule applied is that obligations incurred by the corporation, acting through its directors, officers and employees, are its sole liabilities. A director, officer, and employee of a corporation are generally not held personally liable for obligations incurred by the corporation.
The aforesaid provision states:
- When directors and trustees or, in appropriate cases, the officers of
(a)vote for or assent to patently unlawful acts of the corporation;
(b) act in bad faith or with gross negligence in directing the corporate affairs;
(c)are guilty of conflict of interest to the prejudice of the corporation, its stockholders or members, and other persons.
- When a director or officer has consented to the issuance of watered stocks or who, having knowledge thereof, did not forthwith file with the corporate secretary his written objection thereto.
- When a director, trustee or officer has contractually agreed or stipulated to hold himself personally and solidarily liable with the Corporation.
- When a director, trustee or officer is made, by specific provision of law, personally liable for his corporate action. 
SEC. 31. Liability of directors, trustees or officers. - Directors or trustees who willfully and knowingly vote for or assent to patently unlawful acts of the corporation or who are guilty of gross negligence or bad faith in directing the affairs of the corporation or acquire any personal or pecuniary interest in conflict with their duty as such directors, or trustees shall be liable jointly and severally for all damages resulting therefrom suffered by the corporation, its stockholders or members and other persons.The situation of petitioner, as a director of Impact Corporation when said corporation failed to remit the SSS premium contributions falls exactly under the fourth situation. Section 28(f) of the Social Security Law imposes a civil liability for any act or omission pertaining to the violation of the Social Security Law, to wit:
(f) If the act or omission penalized by this Act be committed by an association, partnership, corporation or any other institution, its managing head, directors or partners shall be liable to the penalties provided in this Act for the offense.In fact, criminal actions for violations of the Social Security Law are also provided under the Revised Penal Code. The Social Security Law provides, in Section 28 thereof, to wit:
(h) Any employer who, after deducting the monthly contributions or loan amortizations from his employees' compensation, fails to remit the said deductions to the SSS within thirty (30) days from the date they became due shall be presumed to have misappropriated such contributions or loan amortizations and shall suffer the penalties provided in Article Three hundred fifteen of the Revised Penal Code.Respondents would like this Court to apply another exception to the rule that the persons comprising a corporation are not personally liable for acts done in the performance of their duties.
(i) Criminal action arising from a violation of the provisions of this Act may be commenced by the SSS or the employee concerned either under this Act or in appropriate cases under the Revised Penal Code: x x x.
Anent the unpaid SSS contributions of Impact Corporation's employees, the officers of a corporation are liable in behalf of a corporation, which no longer exists or has ceased operations. Although as a rule, the officers and members of a corporation are not personally liable for acts done in performance of their duties, this rule admits of exception, one of which is when the employer corporation is no longer existing and is unable to satisfy the judgment in favor of the employee, the officers should be held liable for acting on behalf of the corporation. Following the foregoing pronouncement, petitioner, as one of the directors of Impact Corporation, together with the other directors of the defunct corporation, are liable for the unpaid SSS contributions of their employees.On the other hand, the SSC, in its Resolution, presented this discussion:
Although as a rule, the officers and members of a corporation are not personally liable for acts done in the performance of their duties, this rule admits of exceptions, one of which is when the employer corporation is no longer existing and is unable to satisfy the judgment in favor of the employee, the officers should be held liable for acting on behalf of the corporation. x x x.The rationale cited by respondents in the two preceding paragraphs need not have been applied because the personal liability for the unremitted SSS premium contributions and the late penalty thereof attaches to the petitioner as a director of Impact Corporation during the period the amounts became due and demandable by virtue of a direct provision of law.
"[I]t has been and still is engaged in business" and "has been and still is engaged in the business of manufacturing aluminum tube containers" and "in brief, it is an on-going, viable, and profitable enterprise" which has "sufficient assets" and "actual and potential income-generation capabilities."The foregoing document negates petitioner's assertion and supports the contention that during the period involved Impact Corporation was still engaged in business and was an ongoing, viable, profitable enterprise. In fact, the latest SSS form RIA submitted by Impact Corporation is dated 7 May 1984. The assessed SSS premium contributions and penalty are obligations imposed upon Impact Corporation by law, and should have been remitted to the SSS within the first 10 days of each calendar month following the month for which they are applicable or within such time as the SSC prescribes.
The Social Security System is a government agency imbued with a salutary purpose to carry out the policy of the State to establish, develop, promote and perfect a sound and viable tax exempt social security system suitable to the needs of the people throughout the Philippines which shall promote social justice and provide meaningful protection to members and their beneficiaries against the hazards of disability, sickness, maternity, old-age, death and other contingencies resulting in loss of income or financial burden.The sympathy of the law on social security is toward its beneficiaries. This Court will not turn a blind eye on the perpetration of injustice. This Court cannot and will not allow itself to be made an instrument nor be privy to any attempt at the perpetration of injustice.
The soundness and viability of the funds of the SSS in turn depends on the contributions of its covered employee and employer members, which it invests in order to deliver the basic social benefits and privileges to its members. The entitlement to and amount of benefits and privileges of the covered members are contribution-based. Both the soundness and viability of the funds of the SSS as well as the entitlement and amount of benefits and privileges of its members are adversely affected to a great extent by the non-remittance of the much-needed contributions.