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GSIS, SSS open loans for typhoon-hit members

The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS) on Monday opened loans for members hit by the recent typhoons that passed through the Philippines.

In an advisory, GSIS said members and pensioners can borrow up to P20,000 under the Emergency Loan program payable in 36 equal monthly installments at a 6% interest rate.

Among those qualified to apply are members in active services and not on leave of absence without pay. They must have no pending administrative or criminal case and have a net monthly take-home pay of over P5,000 after all obligations are deducted.

Members that have due and demandable loan accounts are also allowed to renew their previous emergency loan from a different calamity excluded under the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program.

"Marami sa ating mga miyembro at pensiyonado ang naapektuhan ng mga nagdaang bagyo at gusto naming bigyang ginhawa ang kanilang sitwasyon kaya naman inaalok namin sila ng emergency loan," said GSIS president and general manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet.

GSIS is mandated to ensure that members are entitled to an array of social benefits such as life insurance benefits, separation or retirement benefits, and disability benefits in exchange for their monthly premium benefits.

In a separate advisory, the SSS said three programs will be opened for typhoon-affected members and pensioners starting November 27, 2020 -- the Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP), the Three-month Advance Pension, and the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan.

Under CLAP, members may avail of a loan equivalent to the average of their last 12 monthly salary credits rounder up to the nearest thousand or the amount they applied for, whichever is lower.

The loan is payable in two years in equal monthly installments with a 10% interest rate per annum, and a 1% penalty for late payments.

To qualify, members must have an online SSS account, have at least 36 monthly contributions, a resident of a calamity area damaged by typhoons Rolly (international name: Goni), Quinta, and Ulysses (international name: Vamco).

Meanwhile, the three-month advance pension is for those residing in NDRRMC-declared calamity areas due to the three recent typhoons, excluding those who have existing loans under the Pension Loan Program.

For the direct house repair and improvement loan, SSS members residing in calamity areas with houses damaged by the typhoons can apply for a loan of up to P1 million with an annual interest rate of 8% for loans P450,000 and below, and 9% for those above P450,000.

Payment terms must be a multiple of five years with a maximum of 20 years, plus a six-month moratorium. The loan term must also not exceed the economic house of the life as determined by the SSS, and the age of the applicant must not exceed 65 years at the end of the term.

The SSS is mandated to promote social justice and provide protection to members and families against the hazards of disability, sickness, maternity, old age, death, and other contingencies resulting in loss of income or financial burden.

The advisories come after a series of typhoons hit the Philippines, the latest of which Typhoon Ulysses claimed at least 67 lives and leaving over P1 billion in damages.

The typhoon exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday morning, but heavy rains and the release of water from the Magat Dam and other reservoirs brought about massive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela.

A week before, Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni), reported as the strongest storm of 2020 so far, hit several parts of the country leaving over P8 billion in damage. --KBK, GMA News

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