QUEZON CITY, Philippines – State-run Social Security System (SSS) has eased the application process for the Pension Loan Program (PLP) to make it easier for its more than 1.2 million pensioners.
In a statement issued on March 4, SSS said a retiree-pensioner with an active pension status and with at least more than one month of posted regular pension can avail of the loan program.
“Previously, a retiree pensioner must be receiving his monthly pension for at least six months to qualify for the SSS pension loan. But through our new issuance, even if they are receiving their regular monthly pension for just a month only and it is already posted in the system, they are already qualified to avail of a pension loan,” the statement read.
The agency added that the new guidelines for the PLP application will allow interested loan applicants to use other government-issued identifications cards aside from the Social Security Card or Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) card as a form of identification document.
These include the alien certificate of registration issued by Bureau of Immigration, driver’s license issued by Land Transportation Office, firearm registration, license to own and process firearms, and Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence from the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance, passport, postal identity card, seafarer’s identification and record book (seaman’s book); and voter’s ID card.
“In absence of a primary ID card or document, filer shall present, submit any two valid ID cards or documents, both with signature and at least one with photo,” the SSS said.
The agency said the pension loan is part of their programs that are aimed at meeting the pensioners’ short-term financial needs.
“We hope that our pensioners opt to avail of the SSS pension loan in times of emergency expenses. Aside from the low-interest rate, we also make sure that they will still receive a portion of their monthly pension so that not all of it goes to loan repayment which is happening now when they borrow from loan sharks,” the SSS said.
“The loanable amount may not be as huge as what others may be offering, but it sure does serve its purpose to assist them in their short-term financial needs such as emergency medical expenses,” the agency added.
The SSS pension loan program was offered to pensioners starting September 2018. This was launched in response to the clamor of senior citizens to put an end to the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to loan institutions that charge steep interest rates, and to help them with their short-term needs like emergency medical expenses.
As of February 28, 2019, SSS has released P638.33 million in pension loans to qualified pensioners.
Of the 166 SSS branches receiving pension loan applications, Bacolod branch has approved the most number of PLP applications with 1,982, equivalent to more than P41.53 million. Diliman branch, on the other, released the highest amount of pension loans amounting to P41.80 million for the same period. – Robie de Guzman