SSS pension loan disbursements up by 53.8% in March
MANILA, Philippines — The state-run Social Security System (SSS) said on Tuesday that its pension loan releases to retiree pensioners increased by more than 50 percent in March.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacio said the approved loan amount of P150.34 million disbursed to 4,081 retiree pensioners in March was an increase of 53.8 percent from the P97.748 recorded in February.
The SSS attributed this increase to procedural enhancements approved by the Social Security Commission (SSC).
In early March, the SSS said it “relaxed” its guidelines for more than 1.2 million pensioners so those who have have been receiving their pensions for only a month could avail of the SSS pension loan.
Previously, a retiree-pensioner must be receiving his monthly pension for at least six months to qualify for the pension loan, the SSS noted.
Under the new guidelines, the SSS said other government-issued identification cards (ID) aside from the Social Security card or the Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) could now be used as a form of identification.
The following are acceptable identification cards: 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.
The applicant could also present and submit any two valid IDs bearing a signature and a photo of the applicant if they do not have a primary ID or document, the SSS said.
“We are glad that we were able to reach more pensioners through the Pension Loan Program with the enhanced guidelines. The program will truly serve its purpose of providing for the short-term financial needs of our retiree pensioners,” Ignacio said in a statement.
Since the pension loan program’s launch in September last year, the SSS recorded a total of P788.664 million pension loan releases to 32,872 retiree pensioners as of end of March.
It said that the Bacolod branch approved the most number of the program’s applications at 2,240 and released more than P47.16 million. Meanwhile, the Diliman branch released the highest amount of pension loans amounting to P48.08 million to more than 1,861 pensioners.
Ignacio, meanwhile, warned against dealing with fixers after receiving reports that pensioners were asked to pay as much as P2,500 as commission for the processing of loan applications.
“This has to stop. SSS does not charge processing fees for its pension loan application. Those who want to avail of the pension loan must personally apply in our branch offices nationwide. Avoid transacting with fixers who promise to hasten your loan application but would take a pay cut from your loan proceeds,” she said.
She also reminded pensioners not to give personal information through any social media platform like Facebook and Twitter.
“In view of the stringent rules of the Data Privacy Law, we would like to stress that SSS employees or officials are precluded from extracting information of pensioners through any social media platform like Facebook and Twitter,” Ignacio added. /je