SSS offers calamity relief package for 'Sendong' victims

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

THE Social Security System (SSS) Cagayan de Oro branch is now accepting applications from members affected by Typhoon Sendong in the city and in Iligan who want to avail of its calamity relief package.
Edwin M. Alo, SSS Cagayan de Oro Branch head, said they have four calamity relief packages available for members.
The package that members can choose include the early release of three-month pensions, six months suspension of loan payments, reduction in the interest rate of new loans for the SSS Housing Loan Program for Repairs/Improvements and the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program.
Alo said qualified applicants need not apply for pensions since SSS' computer system automatically identifies pensioners who were affected by the calamity.
"We have already allotted around P260 million to represent the pensions for February to April to about 29,000 pensioners residing in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan," he said.
Alo said affected members from Cagayan de Oro and Iligan who have existing loans – whether salary, housing or business loans – have the option to apply for a six-month moratorium of their loan payments without penalties but their amortization term would also be extended by six months.
He said those with current salary loans can also avail of the pension fund's Salary Loan Early Renewal Program that allows them to borrow up to P24,000.
"The balance of the existing loan would be deducted from the proceeds of their new loan. But those who availed of the loan payment suspension will not be eligible to apply for the early loan renewal, and vice versa. Eligible members may file their applications for either loan payment suspension or early loan renewal with their nearest SSS branches," Alo said.
He added that members whose houses were greatly affected by the flood could also apply for the Housing Loan Program for Repairs/Improvements.
Alo said under the housing loan, SSS slashed the interest rate on house repairs loans to eight percent from 13 percent per annum.
He said the maximum amount that can be borrowed is P300,000 payable in 20 years.
Alo apologized for the delayed implementation of the calamity relief package, citing that they have just recently received the guidelines from the main branch.
“I would like to clarify some misleading statements that SSS is not offering calamity loans. It’s not calamity loan but we are offering the calamity relief package since we need a congressional approval to come up with a calamity loan,” he said.
For details on how to avail of the package, Alo urged the members to visit the SSS Cagayan de Oro office in Carmen or log on to their website
He suggests that members should file now before the cut off period, which is June.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 19, 2012.

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