‘Glenda’ victims offered SSS loans, advanced pension payments

The Social Secuirity System (SSS) has offered a calamity relief package for members, which allows them to renew their salary loans, avail of house repair loans with easier terms, and advance their pension payments, following the onslaught of Typhoon Glenda on Wednesday, July 16.

SSS Vice President May Catherine Ciriaco, Officer-in-Charge of the SSS Lending and Asset Management Division, said the SSS calamity relief package is extended to members in areas declared under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), which as of 18 July 2014 includes the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Samar, Laguna, Naga City, and the town of Obando in Bulacan.

“This relief assistance was set up to help our members in urgent need of funds during these times,” Ciriaco said. “They can use their loan proceeds and advance pensions for food, safety water, and medicines, and to pay for other expenses resulting from the damages caused by Typhoon Glenda.”

The SSS calamity relief package includes the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP), which enables existing borrowers in affected areas to renew their salary loans ahead of the prescribed period under the regular loan guidelines. Members with sanctions on loan renewal due to their availment of the SSS Loan Penalty Condonation Program are also allowed to apply for SLERP, provided that they live or work in a declared calamity area.

“The SSS will also waive the one-percent service fee charged on salary loan applications, both for new and renewed loans,” Ciriaco said, adding that the same eligibility requirements, interest rate, and repayment terms on salary loans will still apply.

The assistance package also offers qualified SSS pensioners with an option to get in advance their three-month’s worth of pension. Availment of advance pension payments requires submission of an application form duly certified by the Barangay Chairman.

“Pensioners may also attach a certification issued by the Barangay Chairman, DSWD, or NDRRMC that attests their residency in the typhoon-affected area. We will only accept applications without any of these certifications if the pensioner’s given address is within an officially declared calamity area and it is the same as that in our database,” Ciriaco explained.

The SSS official also said that the regular release of pensions will automatically resume right after the three-month period covered by the advance payments.

Aside from the SLERP and three-month advance pensions, the SSS has also reduced the interest rates for the SSS Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan to six-percent per annum. The service fee is also waived to further help the members who need to rebuild their homes, said Ciriaco.

The deadline of submission of applications under the SSS calamity relief package is on October 31, 2014 except for the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan, which is up to one year from issuance of its SS Circular. Application forms are available at SSS branches or may be downloaded from the SSS website (www.sss.gov.ph).

For SSS members residing in affected areas not yet officially declared in state of calamity, the SSS will update them through a media advisory as soon as the NDRRMC has completed its assessment of damages.