'Ruby'-hit SSS members can get calamity assistance

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2014 06:26 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2014 02:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Social Security System (SSS) members affected by typhoon "Ruby" (Hagupit) can apply for the SSS calamity relief assistance program.

SSS members can avail of salary and housing loans or get three months' worth of pensions in advance.

However, only active members and regular pensioners living or working in areas that had been declared as under a state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) can apply under the program.

The NDRRMC declared the following areas under a state of calamity: San Pablo City, Laguna; Batangas; Albay; Camarines Sur; Catanduanes; Masbate; Naga City; Sorsogon City; municipalities of Juban, Gubat, Magallanes in Sorsogon; Northern Samar and Eastern Samar.

"SSS members who are facing short-term cash needs can apply for salary loans with waived service fee. If they have existing loans, they can renew it under the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP) as long as they are eligible in terms of contributions based on our regular loan guidelines," SSS Vice President and Officer in Charge for Lending and Asset Management Division May Catherine C. Ciriaco said.

Also, borrowers who availed of the penalty condonation program can apply in SLERP.

"The loans will be charged the existing rate of 10 percent annually until fully paid. It is payable for two years and will incur a penalty of one percent per month if not paid on due date," Ciriaco said.

Pensioners can advance their pensions for three months. They need to provide a barangay certificate to show they live in a declared calamity area, except for those whose address in the SSS database is one of those areas in the NDRRMC list.

"Members whose houses were damaged by the typhoon can get cash funds from our SSS House Repair and Direct Improvement Loan under this program, which is only offered at six percent per annum, a three-percent decrease from the existing rate,” Ciriaco said.

SSS members have until March 31, 2015 to apply in the program except for the House Repair and Direct Improvement Loan, which is up to one year from the issuance of the SSS Circular.

Payments will be issued in checks that can be picked up at the branch where the member filed his application. Unclaimed checks within the holding period of 10 days will be mailed to the member.