Over 1 million active members and pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) were affected by September’s Typhoon Ompong, prompting the SSS to allocate PHP1.61 billion for the calamity assistance program (CAP)
As a measure to ease the burdens brought by the Typhoon, SSS through CAP has begun offering calamity loans, advance three-month pensions, and direct house repair and improvement loans to their affected.
“SSS recognizes that a large number of members residing in Luzon area are currently struggling to recover from the devastation of Super Typhoon Ompong. That’s why we are always here to give them financial assistance in this way to help pay for their basic necessities and rebuild their houses,” said SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Dooc.
SSS data shows that more than 800,000 paying members of the pension system were affected by ‘Ompong’. Of the total number affected, the SSS says over 80,000 were potential borrowers with an average monthly salary credit of PHP10,000.
To qualify for these CAP measures, the member must first have a home address or property within the calamity-stricken areas declared by the National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
NDRRMC-declared calamity areas are Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.
“OFW-members who reside within the declared calamity area are also qualified to avail of the calamity loan. They just have to issue an authorization letter to their representatives who will file the CAP applications on their behalf,” Dooc said.
Calamity loan assistance is separate from the regularly offered salary loan. Through CAP, active contributing members can apply for calamity loans of up to PHP16,000, based on the maximum monthly salary credit (MSC). Members should also have at least 36 monthly contributions, of which six need to have been paid within the 12-month period preceding the date of application.
However, according to Dooc, those who are still paying off their previous loan’s balance under the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) or settling the balance of previous calamity loans, as well as those with final benefit claims such as for total permanent disability an retirement, are not qualified for assistance under the Ompong program.
Aside from calamity loan, members with damaged homes can also avail of the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program. It offers interest rate of only 8 percent per annum for loan amount up to PHP450,000, and 9 percent per annum for loan amount of PHP450,000 up to PHP1 million. The special loan program also has six month-moratorium in payment term and waived processing fee of 1 percent.
To qualify for Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan, the member must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, in which three contributions are paid within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing.
Pensioners who were affected by Ompong may avail of their three-month advance pension. Applicants need only to present a barangay certification to confirm they live in the calamity area.
Filing of calamity loan and advance-three month pension applications is until Jan. 4, 2019 while Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan application is until Oct. 4, 2019.
SSS also offers CAP to members affected by Typhoon Karding, or of the massive flooding brought by the enhanced tropical cyclones “Henry, Inday, and Josie”.
Qualified applicants affected by Karding can still apply for CAP and advance three-month pension until Dec. 10, 2018 and Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan until Sept. 10, 2019. Members affected by monsoon rains that were strengthened by three cyclones last July can still avail of CAP and advance three-month pension until Nov. 12, 2018.