SSS to start offering loan assistance packages to ‘Odette’ victims in January

By: Ben O. de Vera - Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 26,2021 - 01:41 PM
REBUILDING Residents of Ubay, Bohol, dig through piles of debris to find anything they can use to rebuild their homes destroyed by Typhoon “Odette,” as it battered the Visayas and Mindanao last week. —LEO UDTOHAN

REBUILDING Residents of Ubay, Bohol, dig through piles of debris to find anything they can use to rebuild their homes destroyed by Typhoon “Odette,” as it battered the Visayas and Mindanao last week. —LEO UDTOHAN

MANILA, Philippines — Private-sector members and pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) in the six regions devastated by typhoon “Odette” last week can avail of loan assistance packages to be offered in January.

In a circular published last Saturday, SSS president and chief executive Aurora Cruz-Ignacio said the state-run pension fund will start accepting applications for the three types of assistance to be extended to those affected by “Odette” on Jan. 14 of next year.

The calamity loan assistance program as well as the three-month advance pension for social security (SS) and employees’ compensation (EC) pensioners will be available until April 13, 2022.

The direct house repair and improvement loan, meanwhile, will be offered for a one-year period, or until Jan. 13, 2023.

Ignacio said SSS members and pensioners in the following regions, which President Duterte placed under a state of calamity for one year starting Dec. 21, can apply for loan and pension benefits: Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga.

The SSS circular did not say how much had been set aside for the assistance packages.

Similar to its previous offerings in areas badly hit by natural disasters, calamity loan applications can be filed online, through the SSS website, by members with at least 36 monthly contributions, of which six months’ worth should have been remitted during the past 12 months. Applicants also should not have outstanding SSS loans.

The calamity loan amount will be equivalent to one monthly salary credit or the amount applied for, whichever was lower. The loan will be slapped with an interest rate of 10 percent per annum, payable within two years in 24 monthly installments.

SS retirees, disability and survivor pensioners, as well as EC disability and survivor pensioners can apply for a maximum of three months’ worth of advance pension, as long as they have no existing pension loan.

“SS and EC pensioners who have availed advance pension for previous calamities and whose pensions are still suspended may avail of the three-month advance pension for typhoon ‘Odette,’ provided that the advance pension will not exceed three months at any time,” the SSS circular read.

The SSS will also extend to its members a maximum loanable amount of P1 million for the direct house repair and/or improvement loan, subject to repricing every five years. Home repairs will be slapped with interest rates of 8 percent per annum for loans below P450,000, and 9 percent per annum above P450,000.

The SSS will waive the 1-percent service fee for the calamity loan assistance program, as well as the processing fee for the house repair loan.

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TAGS: loan assistance packages, Odette victims, SSS, typhoon Odette

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