THE Social Security System (SSS) has started receiving applications from members who were affected by typhoon Ruby for its calamity relief assistance program.
May Catherine Ciriaco, SSS Vice President and Officer-in-Charge for Lending and Asset Management Division, said this will allow them to avail of salary and housing loans, or get a cash advance of up to three months of their pensions.
However, only the active members and regular pensioners living or working in areas that had been declared as under a state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) can apply under the program. These areas include San Pablo City, Laguna; Batangas; Albay; Camarines Sur; Catanduanes; Masbate; Naga City; Sorsogon City; the municipalities of Juban, Gubat and Magallanes in Sorsogon; and both the Northern and Eastern Samar provinces.
“SSS members who are facing short-term cash needs can apply for salary loans with waived service fee. If they have existing loans, they can renew it under the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP) as long as they are eligible in terms of contributions based on our regular loan guidelines,” Ciriaco said.
Borrowers, who availed of the penalty condonation program can also apply in SLERP. The loans will be charged the existing rate of 10 percent annually until fully paid and is payable for two years. The loan will incur a penalty of one percent per month if not paid on due date.
The calamity assistance also extends to pensioners who can avail in advance their pensions for three months. A barangay certificate is needed to attest their residency in a declared calamity area except for those whose address in the SSS database is among those in the NDRRMC list.
“Members whose houses were damaged by the typhoon can get cash funds from our SSS House Repair and Direct Improvement Loan under this program, which is only offered at six percent per annum, a three-percent decrease from the existing rate,” Ciriaco said.
SSS members have until March 31, 2015 to apply in the program except for the House Repair and Direct Improvement Loan, which is up to one year from the issuance of the SSS Circular. Payments will be issued in checks that can be picked up at the branch where the member filed his application. Unclaimed checks within the holding period of 10 days will be mailed to the member.
The SSS calamity relief assistance program was first opened in 2013 to help members affected by Typhoon Maring or “Habagat.”
RITCHIE A. HORARIO