SSS: Mindanao quake-affected members can start applying for loans on Nov. 18
MANILA, Philippines — The Social Security System (SSS) will make available over P443 million in calamity loan assistance to up to 54,000 members living in areas in Mindanao recently struck by a string of earthquakes.
In a statement, SSS president and chief executive Aurora C. Ignacio said the state-run pension fund will begin accepting applications for calamity loan, advance three-month pension, and direct house repair and improvement loan on Monday, Nov. 18.
According to a Nov. 8 circular, SSS members and pensioners in the following areas earlier placed under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) will be qualified: municipalities of Bansalan and Matanao in Davao del Sur province; and Kidapawan City, and municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan 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.
For the calamity loan, members must have a minimum of 36 monthly contributions, of which six months’ worth were paid within a one-year period before the application, the SSS said.
“Loanable amount is equivalent to one month salary credit (MSC) which is 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,” the SSS added.
Billing for the calamity loan will entail members’ registration on the My.SSS online portal.
“However, members who have been granted any final benefit claim such as total permanent disability or retirement, as well as those who have any outstanding balance under the loan restructuring program or previous calamity loan are not qualified to avail of the said loan program,” the SSS said.
Ignacio nonetheless said that SSS members who are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and seafarers would be qualified for the calamity loan assistance as long as they had residence in the quake-stricken areas.
“Authorization letter should be issued to their [OFWs and seafarers’] 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.
As for employees’ compensation and social security pensioners, they can avail of three months in advance pension upon submission of their application for assistance due to calamity/disaster duly-certified by their respective barangay chairperson, the SSS said.
“However, retiree pensioners with existing pension loans are not qualified to apply for the advance three-month pension,” according to Ignacio.
According to the SSS, the earthquake-affected areas had over 1,800 pensioners with an average monthly pension for three months worth P15,900 each.
Members and pensioners can apply for the calamity loan assistance program and the advance three-month pensions, respectively, for three months or until Feb. 17 next year.
Also, SSS members can borrow a maximum of P1 million under the direct house repair and improvement loan program, which slaps an annual interest rate of 8 percent for loans below P450,000 and a higher 9 percent for borrowing amounts over P450,000.
“To qualify for direct house repair and improvement loan, applicant must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, in which three contributions are within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing,” according to the SSS.
Application for the direct house repair and improvement loan will go on for one year or until Nov. 17, 2020.
“According to NDRRMC reports, more than 37,000 houses in the declared calamity areas were either partially or totally damaged. I enjoin all qualified members of the SSS and pensioners to go to the nearest SSS branch-office so they can avail of this benefit,” Ignacio said.
Edited by JE
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