Gov't sets aside P1.6-B for Agaton loans

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 21 2014 11:59 AM | Updated as of Feb 21 2014 07:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is setting aside P1.6 billion for emergency loans that may be tapped by about 85,000 members affected by Typhoon Agaton.

The state pension fund approved a special emergency loan package which increased the credit limit to up to P40,000 and waived the requirement to pay 12 monthly amortizations prior to renewal of the loan.

GSIS is also offering a Pensioners’ Emergency Loan (PEL) window of P20,000 with terms similar to the emergency loan for active members. PEL was first offered to GSIS pensioners hit by Yolanda.

Robert Vergara, president of GSIS, said the increased credit limit will enable GSIS members to take home a bigger loan amount even with the deduction of the balance in their previous emergency loan from the renewal proceeds.

Qualified to avail of the emergency loan package are active members with an outstanding balance in their existing emergency loan as well as those who are either residing or working in Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley, and the municipalities of Asuncion, Carmen, Kapalong, New Corella and Tagum City in Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

Affected GSIS members who are not on leave of absence without pay and have no arrears and loans declared in default are also qualified to join the program.

“Almost 50 percent of active GSIS members hit by Agaton have already availed of the emergency loan and moratorium on loan payments for Typhoon Pablo granted in December 2012, and would not qualify for a renewal as they have paid less than the required 12 monthly loan payments,” Vergara said.

Members residing or working in the affected areas who have no balance in their previous emergency loan accounts may avail themselves of the regular P20,000 loan.

Affected members have until March 9 to file their loan applications with any GSIS branch office.

“Our branch offices in Butuan, Iligan, Surigao, and Tagum will remain open during weekends to serve our members and pensioners,” Vergara said.