Published: November 28, 2013 | Updated: February 6, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Government Services
The Social Security System (SSS) announced a relief package for those affected by Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan). Through the Calamity Relief Package of the SSS, members living in areas affected by the typhoon can avail of salary and housing repair loans that offer easier-to-pay terms. Affected pensioners can also avail of up to three months advanced pensions.
Members of the retirement fund for private-sector employees are eligible for the Calamity Relief Package if they live in a calamity area officially declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). President Aquino declared a state of national calamity on November 11, 2013 or three days after typhoon Yolanda hit central Visayas. Prior to this, the last time that Aquino declared a state of national emergency was back in 2012 when Typhoon Pablo ravaged large areas in the southern Philippines.
The November 26, 2013 situational report of the NDRRMC shows that the number of damaged houses increased to over 1.1 million houses. Of this figure, 530,479 were totally destroyed while 573,149 were partially destroyed. The figures highlight how many could benefit from the Calamity Relief Package by the SSS.
“Under the calamity relief package, members and pensioners have six months to apply for Salary Loans and three-month advance pensions, and one year for the House Repair and Improvement Loans,” said SSS Vice President and Officer-in-Charge for Lending and Asset Management Division May Catherine Ciriaco. She adds that the policy will help members and pensioners focus on recovering from injuries and caring for affected relatives.
New and existing Salary Loan borrowers are eligible for the Calamity Relief Package and current borrowers can apply for the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP) even if they have sanctions on loan renewal due to having availed of the SSS Loan Penalty Condonation Program.
Current borrowers can renew their loan ahead of schedule if they apply for the SLERP. The SSS will also waive their 1% service fee. For first-time borrowers the SSS will waive the loan service fee.
The salary loan that an eligible SSS member can avail is P30,000. Those who were able to make at least 36 monthly contributions can get a one-month salary loan from the SSS, while those who have made a minimum of 72 monthly contributions are eligible for the two-month salary loan.
To help members repair their homes, the SSS lowered the annual interest rate of their House Repair and Improvement Loan Program to 6%. They are also waiving the loan application fee up to P3,000. Members who wish to avail of this program have one year from the issuance of the SSS circular to apply.
The SSS is also allowing pensioners to get an advance pension equivalent to three monthly pensions. Pensioners who want to avail of this program need to submit an accomplished application form together with a certification from their barangay which serves as proof that they live in an area affected by the typhoon.
The SSS counts over 30 million employees as members, over 22 million of which are employees while the rest are categorized as self-employed or voluntary members. From January to June 2013, they’ve provided P14.421 billion in loans. The majority of these are salary loans while they’ve also given out 17 housing loans worth a total of P24 million.
According to the latest NDRRMC data, the death toll from Typhoon Yolanda has increased to 5,240 and another 1,613 are still missing. The typhoon affected over 2 million families or close to 10 million people. Close to 53,000 families were displaced and are living now in evacuation centers.
With so many affected by the typhoon Yolanda, the SSS program should provide many members with funds that could help them rebuild their homes. The SSS program is one of the many efforts made by organizations to help millions of Filipinos affected by the typhoon.
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