Philippines

SSS accepts calamity loan applications in areas affected by ‘Nina’ on February 3

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NAGA CITY, Feb. 3 - The Social Security System (SSS) launched a more responsive Calamity Relief Package for members affected by Super Typhoon ‘Nina’ by offering a calamity loan assistance starting February 3, 2017.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said that the calamity loan is a new and separate loan window from the regular salary loan for members. The calamity loan for those affected by typhoon “Nina” allows members to borrow up to P16,000 if they are paying contributions based on the maximum monthly salary credit (MSC).

“With the onslaught of Typhoon Nina, we saw the urgent need of providing a more meaningful assistance to our members through loan availment. We hope that the calamity loan assistance will help lead our members and their families to full recovery,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said.

In the past, SSS offered the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP) which waived the required 50 percent completion of loan payment as a qualifying condition for loan renewal under its regular guidelines. Hence, even borrowers who have only paid a few monthly amortizations are allowed by SSS to renew their loans as a special consideration.

“Similar to salary loans, calamity loans are payable in two years in 24 equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and one percent monthly penalty for late payments. To provide more assistance, we waived the one percent service fee for calamity loan applicants,” PCEO Dooc explained.

To qualify for SSS calamity loans, members should have a home address or property in the covered areas and a minimum of 36 monthly contributions, six of which should be paid within the 12-month period preceding the date of application.

Dooc also noted that members who availed of the SSS Loan Restructuring Program and those with final benefit claims, such as for total permanent disability and retirement, are excluded from the program. Employee-members can also apply for calamity loans, provided that their employers are updated in remitting their workers’ contributions and loan payments.

Members can file their calamity loan applications over the counter at any SSS branch sarting February 3, 2017. Those based abroad, such as seafarers and overseas Filipino workers (OFW), can file their applications through their designated representative, who should present an authorization letter to SSS.

“Applicants should also submit a Barangay Certification that will attest to their residence in the declared calamity area or to their current status as an OFW or seafarer, if applicable. The loan must be fully paid before the member can avail of another calamity loan in the future,” Dooc said.

Members can pick up their calamity loan check at the SSS branch which received their application. If left unclaimed after 10 days, SSS will mail the check to the member.

In addition to the calamity loan assistance, the SSS calamity relief package also features advance release of three-month pension under the SSS and Employees’ Compensation Program; and reduced interest rate under the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program. .

Qualified SSS members and pensioners have until June 2017 to apply for loans and advance pensions while deadline for Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan, is up to one year from issuance of its corresponding circular.

The SSS calamity relief assistance is offered in calamity areas declared by the National Disaster Risk Management Council, such as Batangas; Quezon; Naujan, Calapan and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro; Gasan, Mogpog, Boac and Torrijos in Marinduque; Albay, Catanduanes and Camarines Sur; and Jipapad, Maslog, Oras, Dolores, Can-avid, Taft, Sulat, Arteche and San Policarpio in Region 8 as of 13 January 2017.

For more information, members and pensioners can visit the nearest SSS branch, contact the SSS Call Center hotline at 920-6446 to 55, or send an email to member_relations@sss.gov.ph. The application forms are downloadable from the SSS website at www.sss.gov.ph. (SSS)