SSS, GSIS offer loans to Yolanda victims
The loans are intended to help ease the burden on hardest-hit members

MANILA, Philippines – State-run pension funds Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) are offering loan assistance to their members and pensioners in areas ravaged by Yolanda (Haiyan).

SSS has announced that its Calamity Relief Package is now available to its members and pensioners in official calamity areas as declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

According to May Catherine Ciriaco, SSS vice president and officer-in-charge for the Lending and Asset Management Division, the package includes the following:

  • Salary loans – for members; applications must be filed within 6 months
  • Advance pensions worth 3 months maximum – for pensioners for retirement, disability or survivorship; applications must be filed within 6 months
  • House Repair and Improvement Loans – for members; annual interest lowered to 6%; applications must be filed within 1 year
  • Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP) – existing borrowers with sanctions after applying for the SSS Loan Penalty Condonation Program; application must be filed on or before April 30, 2014

“With the long deadline, members and pensioners can focus on urgent matters first, such as recovering from injuries and caring for affected relatives, and file their SSS applications at a more convenient time,” Ciriaco said.

SSS is also waiving the loan service fee for new borrowers and the 1% loan service fee for existing borrowers.

To apply, members and pensioners must submit the accomplished application form and a barangay certification to prove that they reside in a declared calamity area on or before their respective loans or advance pension application deadline.

GSIS loans

Meanwhile, GSIS is extending its own assistance package, worth P4.5 billion, to over 300,000 members and pensioners residing or working in declared calamity areas.

Part of this package are the following:

  • Emergency loans – for members; worth P20,000; applications must be filed until Dec 31, 2013 in GSIS branch offices and through the GWAPS kiosks
  • Pension emergency loan – for pensioners; loan terms similar to emergency loan for active members

GSIS is waiving the 12-month amortization prior to renewal for borrowers with an existing emergency loan. Pensioners with current loans will also be given a 6-month moratorium.

GSIS is further easing outstanding loans including consolidated loans, housing loans, policy loans and eCash advances. The moratorium will be from November 2013 to April 2014.

“The pension fund is granting a 6-month moratorium on outstanding loans to enable its hardest-hit members to use the deferred payments on their GSIS loans for rebuilding their houses and other urgent needs. –