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Calamity loans ready for Pag-IBIG, GSIS members

September 29, 2009 10:50pm
(Updated 10:50 PM) Three state-controlled agencies on Tuesday have allotted billions of pesos to assist victims of storm Ondoy.

Five billion pesos worth of emergency loans have been set aside for members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the state-run pension fund said.

Twenty thousand pesos will be made available to eligible GSIS members employed by government offices “in areas…under a state of calamity," GSIS said in a statement.

Considered as the Philippines’ most generous loan scheme, the pension fund’s emergency loan program carries an interest rate of eight percent yearly and is payable in equal monthly installments over a three-year period.

Among GSIS members eligible for the loan include bona fide government employees in an area declared under a state of calamity, the agency said in a statement.

In the meantime, Pag-IBIG fund, which helps members buy their own homes, said it is ready to receive members' applications for calamity assistance.

A total of 1,115 calamity loan applications have already been received by the fund, which in turn, has already established service centers in Marikina and Cainta, the hardest hit by Ondoy.

Up to 80 percent of total accumulated savings can be borrowed by members under the fund's Calamity Loan Program, Pag-IBIG said in a statement.

Besides carrying a 10.75 percent interest per year, the loan is payable in 24 months and has a five-month grace period, the same statement said.

Members with existing Multi-Purpose Loans (MPLs) can still avail themselves of the assistance. However, the outstanding MPL balance will be deducted from the proceeds of their calamity loan.

Members can avail of the program as long as they file applications within a 90-day period after a calamity, the same statement said.

To qualify, applicants must be residents of localities declared as calamity areas who have paid at least 24 monthly contributions, and are active members at the time of application. They must continue to remit their contributions during the term of the loan.

Members may also be required to submit a certification from the barangay chairman that the applicant is a calamity victim. Applicants may also be required to submit a Sangguniang Bayan Resolution on the said matter.

In 2008, Pag-IBIG has released more than P4 billion in calamity loans that benefited 250,798 members.

State-led lender Land Bank of the Philippines is currently assessing infrastructure and livelihood projects in areas most affected by Ondoy.

It can later help fund the restoration of these initiatives to help victims recover from the calamity, Landbank president and chief executive officer Gilda Pico said.

Metro Manila and 25 other provinces in Luzon have been declared under a state of calamity.

These include the provinces of Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Isabela, the Mt. Province, Ifugao, Benquet, La Union, Batangas, Cavite, Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, Marinduque, Camarines Norte and Bataan. - GMANews.TV
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