SSS opens loan application for members hit by recent Mindanao quakes

Robie de Guzman
A Filipino villager sits amongst rubble after a quake were felt in Digos City, Philippines, 30 October 2019. At least five people have been killed and around 70 injured, after the earthquake struck the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – The Social Security System (SSS) on Monday, Nov. 18, will begin accepting applications for calamity loan, advance three-month pension and direct house repair and improvement loan for its members in areas that were recently hit by a string of earthquakes in Mindanao.

SSS president and chief executive officer Aurora Ignacio said over P443 million in calamity loan assistance will be made available to up to 54,000 members in quake-stricken areas in Mindanao.

In a SSS circular dated Nov. 8, the agency said the assistance program covers members and pensioners in areas placed under state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC): municipalities of Bansalan and Matanao in Davao del Sur; municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan, and Kidapawan City in North Cotabato.

“It is unfortunate that the series of strong quakes greatly affected their daily living. That’s why we prioritized the immediate approval of granting calamity assistance in order to extend financial help to our members and pensioners in the affected areas,” Ignacio said in a statement.

The loanable amount is equivalent to one-month salary credit (MSC) computed based on the average of the last 12 MSC or the total amount of damages as certified by the member in the application form, (rounded up to the nearest thousand), whichever is lower.

To avail of the calamity loan, the SSS said that members should have a minimum of 36 monthly contributions, six of which should be posted within the last 12 months prior to the month of filing of the application.

They should also be registered in the SSS web registration for billing purposes, have not been granted any final benefit such as total permanent disability or retirement, and have no outstanding balance under the loan restructuring program or calamity loan assistance program.

Members must personally apply for the calamity loan assistance program thru the SSS branches, the agency said.

SSS members who work as overseas Filipino workers (OFW) or seafarers may also apply for the program as long as they have a residence in the quake-hit areas.

“Authorization letter should be issued to their authorized representatives to apply for the calamity loan assistance package on their behalf. Member-applicants should also submit a barangay certification as proof that they are residents of the declared calamity area,” Ignacio said.

SSS members and pensioners may apply for the calamity loan assistance program and the advance three-month pensions, respectively, for three months or until February next year.

The assistance package may be availed until February 17, 2020, except for the direct house repair and improvement loan which is up to one year from the issuance of the circular.

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