Issue of February 9, 2020
     
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SSS extends help to Taal volcano eruption victims
by Christian Andrew Rillorta

The Social Security System has extended its Calamity Assistance Package (CAP) to members and pensioners who were affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said the pension fund allocated more than P284.92 million worth of financial assistance to benefit more than 28,680 affected members and pensioners.

“We sympathize with our members and pensioners who are now temporarily displaced due to the ongoing earthquakes and ash fall brought about by the volcanic activity of Taal Volcano. We want to assure our members and pensioners that they can rely on SSS for their immediate financial needs during these difficult times,” Ignacio said.

Qualified regular-paying SSS members who are residing in calamity-stricken areas which are declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as under state of calamity may avail of the calamity loan assistance and Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan while pensioners may avail of the advance three-month pension.

Areas declared by NDRRMC under the state of calamity are the provinces of Batangas and Cavite. On the other hand, members and pensioners who are residents of other areas that may also be declared under the state of calamity are qualified to avail of the CAP once officially declared by NDRRMC.

The CAP includes a loan assistance program, which is separate from the regular salary loan, allows members to borrow up to P20,000 depending on their monthly salary credit, and financial assistance for pensioners wherein they can advance their pensions equivalent to three months.

SSS is expecting more than 10 percent of the affected paying members in the areas mentioned above to apply for the CAP thus, it allocates more than P284.92M for the program. It is broken down into P277.5 million allotted for the calamity loan while the remaining P7.42M are for the advance three-month pensions of qualified pensioners.

Based on the SSS Circular 2020-002, applicants are required to be registered on the My.SSS facility for easier facilitation of their billing letters.

The calamity loan is payable in two years in equal monthly installments with an annual interest rate of 10 percent and one percent monthly penalty for late payments. To eliminate additional expenses on the part of member-borrowers, SSS waived the one percent service fee.

Applicants under the advance three-month pension whose present address are different from the address in the SSS database should submit a barangay certification to prove that they reside in the area declared under the state of calamity.

Aside from the calamity loan, members with damaged homes can also avail of the direct house repair and Improvement loan with six months moratorium in amortization and interest payments. Members can borrow up to a maximum of P1 million under this program.

To qualify for direct house repair and improvement loan, the applicant must not be more than 60 years old and with at least 24 monthly contributions, of which three contributions were remitted within the last 12-month period prior to the month of filing the loan.

Members and pensioners may file their CAP applications until April 21 except for the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan which will run up to January 2021.

For more information, members and pensioners can visit the nearest SSS branch, contact the SSS Call Center hotline at 1455, or email member_relations@sss.gov.ph. Application forms are downloadable from the SSS website at www.sss.gov.ph.


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