More than 80,000 members of the Social Security System (SSS) have settled their overdue loan obligations and benefited from condoned penalties amounting to P590.79 million under an ongoing amnesty program that is set to end in a month.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emilio de Quiros, Jr. said collectible amounts from 80,994 borrowers who availed themselves of the Member Loan Penalty Condonation Program totaled P1.03 billion, which includes the principal, interest and outstanding penalties.

De Quiros urged delinquent borrowers to take advantage of the condonation program to avoid having their loan balance deducted from their future benefits for retirement, total disability or death. The SSS charges a one percent monthly penalty on unpaid loans.

“Members who neglect their loan payments will face ballooning monthly penalties that will be harder for them to pay off in the future. They also risk having the delayed release of their SSS pension because their benefits will be first applied to paying the overdue loan,” he said.

The six-month availment period of the condonation program for delinquent borrowers will end on September 30, 2012. The SSS grants condonable penalties of 50 to 100 percent, depending on the borrower’s situation and mode of payment under the program.

De Quiros said members can file their applications for penalty condonation at the nearest SSS branch, while those who no longer need to submit supporting documents can apply electronically by logging on at www.sss.gov.ph.

“The SSS has approved a total of 7,083 web-based applications, 5,550 of which were filed by members who opted for installment payments and 1,533 more from those who paid in full. Employee-members accounted for 6,037 of applications filed through the SSS website,” he revealed.

The SSS offers 100 percent condonation of penalties to borrowers under Situation 1-A, or those whose employers failed to remit the loan amortizations deducted from members’ salaries. They can submit proof of employers’ unremitted loan payments such as pay slips or affidavits.

Borrowers with at least three paid amortizations and a minimum of three contributions within the last six months before the month of application, or contributions for the next three months, qualify under Situation 2, which condones 90 percent of penalties for full payment and 80 percent for installment payments of up to three years.

“Members applying under Situation 2 no longer need to wait for posting of the required contribution and loan payments. They can simply present SSS receipts as proof of payments so that we can immediately process their application for condonation,” de Quiros clarified.

Delinquent borrowers filing retirement or total disability claims within the availment period can apply for penalty condonation under Situation 3. Half of their loan penalties will be waived and the rest will be deducted from their retirement or disability claim.

De Quiros said the amnesty is also extended to beneficiaries of member-borrowers who died with unpaid loans (Situation 1-B) to enable dependents to receive the full amount of death benefits. They can file their application for condonation with their SSS death claim until March 13, 2013. – Sigfredo Ibay