THE Social Security System (SSS) said it allotted around P74 million for its calamity loan assistance program (CLAP) for its active members and pensioners in conflict-hit Marawi City in Lanao del Sur and earthquake-stricken Ormoc province in Leyte.
SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said qualified members and pensioners may avail of the loan assistance starting August 2, 2017.
“Our active members and pensioners may avail of as much as P16,000 under the CLAP or based on their average monthly salary credit. This is payable after three months from the time that they received the loan,” Dooc said.
Dooc said that the calamity loan is a new and separate loan window from the regular salary loan for members. In the past, SSS offered the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP), which waived the required 50 percent completion of loan payment as a qualifying condition for loan renewal. Hence, even borrowers who have only paid a few monthly amortizations are allowed by SSS to renew their loans as a special consideration.
“The grant of a calamity loan was an initiative of the new Social Security Commission headed by Chairman Amado Valdez, who saw the urgent need of providing a more meaningful assistance to our members through loan availment,” said Dooc.
CLAP is part of the SSS assistance package for affected members, which consists of two other components namely the advance release of three-month pensions and reduction of interest rates under the SSS Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program.
Based on the SSS Member Loan Department’s data, about 56,000 members of the pension fund were affected by the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Ormoc, Leyte last July 10. Of the total members affected, SSS is looking at some 5,600 potential borrowers with P10,000 average monthly salary credit.
Likewise, members in armed-conflict areas in Lanao Del Sur, particularly in Marawi City, were recorded at 1,810 with an average monthly salary credit of P10,000.
To qualify for the CLAP, affected members should have at least 36 monthly contributions, of which six are posted within the last 12 months prior to the filing of their applications. They should also be residents of declared calamity areas by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), SSS said.
“We’d also like to remind those borrowers who have availed of our Loan Restructuring Program last year to April this year and those with outstanding CLAP availments that they are not qualified to avail of the loan assistance,” Dooc said.
The loan, which will be payable within two years in 24 equal monthly installments, is also available to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). OFW-members whose residences are in disaster-stricken areas should issue a letter authorizing their representatives to file the CLAP application on their behalf.
Meanwhile, pensioners in covered areas may avail of their three-month advance pension starting August 2, 2017 until October 31, 2017.
“To make it convenient and facilitate the filing of applications, we are implementing the “File Anywhere” policy so all SSS branches will accept applications for the three-month advance pension,” Dooc said.
“We, at SSS, want to ensure that we have extended all assistance to our affected members in the disaster-stricken and armed-conflict areas. The loan assistance will be of big help to our members as they start to rise and rebuild their lives after their catastrophic experience,” he added.