SSS to offer calamity relief package to ‘Nona’ victims
MANILA, Philippines — On the first working day of 2016, state-run pension fund Social Security System (SSS) will start accepting applications for a calamity relief package for members as well as pensioners who had been affected by typhoon “Nona.”
In a statement over the weekend, the SSS said the package — including early renewal of salary loans, preferential terms for house repair and improvement loans, as well as advance disbursement of pensions — would be made available nationwide beginning Jan. 4, 2015.
To recall, President Aquino declared a national state of calamity last Dec. 18 following the onslaught of “Nona” this month.
“In this time of need, we offer our assistance to our calamity-stricken members and pensioners so that they can cope and move on faster from the effects of this recent disaster,” said Boobie Angela A. Ocay, assistant vice president at the SSS’s member loans department.
Part of the calamity relief package is the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP), which the SSS said “waives the required 50-percent completion of loan payment as a qualifying condition for loan renewal under our regular guidelines.”
Under SLERP, “even borrowers who have only paid a few monthly amortizations are allowed by SSS to renew their loans as a special consideration,” it explained.
Also, the SSS said it would waive the 1-percent service fee being charged on salary loans in order to jack up the loan proceeds of SLERP-availing members. It will cover the one- and two-month salary loans of up to P16,000 and P32,000, respectively, both of which are payable within two years.
The SSS will also offer assistance to members whose houses were flattened by the typhoon. “The heavy rains and floods caused by typhoon ‘Nona’ had damaged thousands of houses. To help our affected members to restore their destroyed homes, the SSS is providing a lower interest rate of 6 percent for home repair and improvement loans as part of the calamity relief package,” Ocay said.
Through the SSS Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program offered under the package, “eligible members can borrow funds of up to P1 million, with payment terms at a maximum of 20 years for locally employed members and 15 years for overseas Filipino workers.”
As for pensioners, they could apply for advance three-month pensions, the SSS said.
“Members and pensioners can directly claim their checks from the SSS branch that received their application within three days and one week, respectively. If unclaimed after three days, the salary loan and advance pension checks will be mailed to the member or pensioner,” it added.
The SSS likewise reminded members as well as pensioners covered by the earlier calamity relief package for typhoon “Lando” that the availment deadline for SLERP and also the advance three-month pension will both be on Dec. 31.
“The deadline for ‘Lando’-affected members who intend to apply for house repair and improvement loans, on the other hand, is on Oct. 22 next year, one year after the issuance of the corresponding circular last Oct. 23,” Ocay added.
Last October, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) identified the following areas as calamity areas badly hit by “Lando”: the provinces of Aurora, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan; as well as the municipalities of Arayat in Pampanga, Calumpit in Bulacan, Camiling and Ramos in Tarlac, General Nakar and Infanta in Quezon, and Sugpon in Ilocos Sur.
“Pensioners whose registered address in the SSS database differs from their current residence must present a certification of their stay in declared calamity area from NDRRMC, Department of Social Welfare and Development or their barangay chairman along with their application form,” Ocay said. SFM
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