GSIS extends loan program that heeded Duterte order to save gov’t employees from loan sharks | Inquirer Business
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GSIS extends loan program that heeded Duterte order to save gov’t employees from loan sharks

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:40 PM December 26, 2019

The state-run pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has extended its loan program for Department of Education (DepEd) employees until July 2020, while also disbursing cash dividends from 2018 earnings to its members since Monday (Dec. 22).

In a statement on Thursday (Dec. 26), the GSIS said application for its financial assistance loan or GFAL will be open to DepEd employees until July 26 next year instead of this month.

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“More than half of GSIS membership are DepEd personnel,” said Rolando Macasaet, GSIS chair and acting president and general manager.

He said GFAL was “the GSIS’ response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to put an end to high-interest money lending schemes that leave government workers cash-strapped and wedged deeper into debts.”

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GFAL was first offered to DepEd employees on May 15, 2018 and other government workers on July 29, 2019, according to Macasaet.

All GSIS members, though, can also avail themselves of GFAL until July 26 next year, Macasaet added.

The voluntary GFAL allows members to not only consolidate debt from multiple lenders but also transfer balance from debts in the GSIS, in turn allowing the pension fund to directly settle their unpaid loans with private lending institutions.

GFAL covers a maximum loan of P500,000 which carries a 6 percent interest rate per annum and payable for six years through salary deduction.

If the amount to be availed of was lower than P500,000, “borrowers may apply for the remaining credit as top-up loan for their other needs,” the GSIS said.

“The GSIS pays GFAL’s proceeds directly to lenders while top-up loan proceeds are released to members,” it said.

Applicants from the DepEd must be regular employee and active GSIS member and have an unpaid loan with private lending institutions.

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They must have no overdue loan with the GSIS, must have paid premiums for at least three years, are not on leave without pay, have take-home pays of not lower than P5,000 and have no pending administrative or criminal case.

In a separate statement also on Thursday, the GSIS said since Dec. 23 it had already released P174 million in cash benefits, or dividends, to members for the year 2018.

These are given through members’ eCards or unified multipurpose identification card, Macasaet said.

Entitled to the dividends are members who have been with the GSIS for at least one year as of Dec. 31, 2018. Members with maturing policies in 2018 would get a “proportionate amount.”

Not eligible for the dividends are members with policies that had lapsed in 2018, those who had already died, who had retired or separated from the GSIS in 2018.

Members with unpaid loans or premiums for 12 months as of Dec. 31, 2018 are also not qualified for the dividends.

The dividends are mandated by the GSIS Charter or Republic Act No. 8291. “The amount of cash benefit is dependent on the financial performance of the social insurance fund,” the GSIS said.

Edited by TSB

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