SSS opens loan application for members hit by recent Mindanao quakes

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2019   •   275

A Filipino villager sits amongst rubble after a quake were felt in Digos City, Philippines, 30 October 2019. At least five people have been killed and around 70 injured, after the earthquake struck the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS) on Monday, Nov. 18, will begin accepting applications for calamity loan, advance three-month pension and direct house repair and improvement loan for its members in areas that were recently hit by a string of earthquakes in Mindanao.

SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora Ignacio said over P443 million in calamity loan assistance will be made available to up to 54,000 members in quake-stricken areas in Mindanao.

In a SSS circular dated Nov. 8, the agency said the assistance program covers members and pensioners in areas placed under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC): municipalities of Bansalan and Matanao in Davao del Sur; municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan, and Kidapawan City in North Cotabato.

“It is unfortunate that the series of strong quakes greatly affected their daily living. That’s why we prioritized the immediate approval of granting calamity assistance in order to extend financial help to our members and pensioners in the affected areas,” Ignacio said in a statement.

The loanable amount is equivalent to one-month salary credit (MSC) computed based on the average of the last 12 MSC or the total amount of damages as certified by the member in the application form, (rounded up to the nearest thousand), whichever is lower.

To avail of the calamity loan, the SSS said that members should have a minimum of 36 monthly contributions, six of which should be posted within the last 12 months prior to the month of filing of the application.

They should also be registered in the SSS web registration for billing purposes, have not been granted any final benefit such as total permanent disability or retirement, and have no outstanding balance under the loan restructuring program or calamity loan assistance program.

Members must personally apply for the calamity loan assistance program thru the SSS branches, the agency said.

SSS members who work as overseas Filipino workers (OFW) or seafarers may also apply for the program as long as they have a residence in the quake-hit areas.

“Authorization letter should be issued to their authorized representatives to apply for the calamity loan assistance package on their behalf. Member-applicants should also submit a barangay certification as proof that they are residents of the declared calamity area,” Ignacio said.

SSS members and pensioners may apply for the calamity loan assistance program and the advance three-month pensions, respectively, for three months or until February next year.

The assistance package may be availed until February 17, 2020, except for the direct house repair and improvement loan which is up to one year from the issuance of the circular.

Typhoon Tisoy-hit members, pensioners can now avail of calamity loan – SSS

Robie de Guzman   •   December 27, 2019

Children frolic in floodwater in Naga city, Camarines Sur province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/JONNEL MARIBOJOC

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Social Security System (SSS) who were affected by typhoon Tisoy may now apply for the Calamity Assistance Package (CAP) loan.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said members and pensioners in Southern Luzon and Visayas hit by Tisoy may now avail of the calamity loan, direct house repair and improvement loan as well the advanced three-month pension program.

She added that the CAP program, which has a total fund allocation of more than P614 million, covers members and pensioners residing in areas declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

These areas include Batangas City; Mabitac, Laguna; Provinces of Quezon, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque; Corcuera, Romblon and San Fernando in Romblon; and Province of Northern Samar.

“The CAP includes a loan assistance program which is a separate loan window from the regular salary loan,” Ignacio said in a statement Monday.

“Members can borrow up to P40,000 in calamity loan depending on their average last 12 monthly salary credit. The financial assistance is also open to pensioners who can avail three months advance of their monthly pension. Moreover, members can also apply for direct housing repair and improvement loan,” she added.

Loan application for Tisoy-hit SSS members is open from December 20, 2019 to March 19, 2020.

“Members who would like to avail of the Calamity Assistance Package are required to be registered in the My.SSS application to facilitate their billing requirements in the future,” Ignacio said.

The SSS Chief, however, clarified that members who still have outstanding loans under the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) and previous CAPs, as well as those receiving pensions for total permanent disability and retirement, and those who have availed of the Pension Loan Program (PLP) are not qualified to avail of the calamity loan.

The SSS said the calamity loan is payable in two years in equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and one percent monthly penalty for late payments.

To eliminate additional expenses on the part of member-borrowers, SSS waived the one percent service fee, it added.

Aside from the calamity loan, the SSS said that members with damaged properties can also avail of the direct house repair and improvement loan with six months moratorium in amortization and interest payments.

“Members can borrow up to a maximum of P1 million under this program which will run for one year or until 20 December 2020,” Ignacio said.

“To qualify, the applicant must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, of which three contributions were remitted within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing,” she added.

SSS urges members to download SSS app

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 18, 2019

The Social Security System (SSS) urges its members to download the SSS mobile app to improve the ease of doing business with the agency.

The mobile app, according to the SSS, would also reduce long queues at SSS branches.

“With the SSS Mobile App, members can easily transact with the SSS anytime and anywhere through their smartphones or tablets instead of visiting the nearest SSS branch,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said.

Through the SSS mobile app, members can view their contributions record, membership information, location of SSS branches, and status of their benefit claim, salary loan and loan balance.

Members can also update contact information, register at My.SSS, submit their salary loan application and maternity notification and generate and edit the Payment Reference Numbers.

“We are encouraging our members and stakeholders to use SSS online platforms as we transform our services into future-ready operations,” Ignacio said.

The SSS mobile app can be downloaded at the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Huawei App Gallery.—AAC

SSS allows pensioners to loan up to P200K

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – In celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week, the Social Security System (SSS) unveiled a new borrowing program for pensioners.

Under the enhanced Pension Loan Program (PLP), the SSS said more than 1.5 million retiree-pensioners may loan up to P200,000.  

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said on Friday the enhanced guidelines on the PLP, which is pursuant to Social Security Commission (SSC) Resolution No. 429 series of 2019, is aimed to provide adequate financial assistance to qualified retiree pensioners.

“They can now borrow up to 12 times their basic monthly pension plus the additional P1,000 benefit. SSS branches are now accepting PLP applications from qualified retiree-pensioners,” Ignacio said in a statement.

Qualified under the new guidelines are retiree pensioners who are 85 years old and below at the end of the loan repayment term if they have no outstanding loan balance, or benefit overpayment payable to SSS from his monthly pension.

Pensioners must also have no existing advance pension under the SSS calamity package and must be receiving his regular monthly pension for at least one month and has an “active” pension status.

“We want our pensioners to know that we value them as one of our key stakeholders in recognition of their support to SSS during their prime, wherein their monthly contributions were the lifeline of the pension fund then,” Ignacio said.

The enhanced loan program for pensioners grants a higher loanable amount, longer payment terms and wider range for the age qualification.

It also gives borrowers a wider option to choose from their loanable amount.

From the previous minimum loanable amount of twice his basic monthly pension (BMP) plus the P1,000 additional benefit, the pensioner borrower may now loan up to three times, six times, nine times or 12 times of his BMP plus the P1,000 additional benefit.

The repayment term was also adjusted so that borrowers will have the option to pay their loan in six, 12 or 24 months with the first monthly amortization to be due on the second month after the loan is granted.

The SSS said these options were given to discourage pensioners from transacting with loan organizations which charge steep interest rates.

“We hope that more pensioners will be encouraged to avail of this loan as this only incurs an interest rate of 10 percent per annum,” Ignacio said.

The SSS implemented the PLP last September 2018 to prevent the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan sharks and help them with their short-term needs.

So far, the agency has released 59,224 pension loans amounting to P1.4 billion as of September 30, 2019.

Based on SSS data on loan term, 0.8 percent of the pensioner-borrowers preferred the three-month term, 5.88 percent for six months, and 93.32 percent for 12 months as of end-September 2019.

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