SSS offers calamity loan assistance to members, pensioners affected by Mayon volcano eruption
QUEZON CITY --- Active members and pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) residing in areas affected by the Mayon Volcano eruption can get financial aid under the pension fund’s Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) until May 15, 2018. “SSS members and pensioners can avail of a maximum of P16,000 calamity loan, payable in two years. To further help them recover from this unfortunate situation, monthly amortization will only start after three months from the time that they received the loan,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said. SSS has earmarked more than P193M for the implementation of the loan program in areas declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) due to Mayon Volcano eruption. SSS has estimated 19,354 potential borrowers with an average monthly salary credit of P10,000. The calamity loan assistance program (CLAP) is a separate loan window from the regular salary loan. The loanable amount is payable within two years in equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and monthly penalty of one percent for late payments. “We also waived the one percent service fee as special consideration to our member-applicants,” Dooc added. Qualified applicants under CLAP are those with home address or property in NDRRMC-declared calamity areas and have a minimum of 36 monthly contributions, six of which should be paid within the 12-month period preceding the date of application. However, member-applicants with previous CLAP availments and outstanding balance under the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP), as well as those with final benefit claims such as for total permanent disability and retirement, are not qualified under the current program. “OFW members whose residence is within the declared calamity area are also qualified to apply for calamity loan assistance. They only need to issue an authorization letter for their representatives to submit their application on their behalf,” said Dooc. Aside from CLAP, members can also avail of three-month advance pension and Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program. Pensioners applying for the advanced release of three months’ worth of pension whose present address is different from the address in the SSS database will have to present a barangay certification as proof that they reside in the declared calamity area. Availment of the three-month advance pension is until May 15, 2018. Meanwhile, applicants under the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, in which three of the contributions were posted within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing. “Members can borrow a maximum of P1M with an interest rate of six percent per annum fixed for 15 years. We also waived the regular processing fee so that members will only focus on paying their monthly amortizations on time,” Dooc explained. Members have one year to submit applications for Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan program which will run until February 15, 2019. SSS is also set to distribute relief goods in Bicol on March 2, 2018 as part of the “SSS Cares Program,” the pension fund’s corporate social responsibility program.