ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 2 – The Social Security System (SSS) on Wednesday announced it allotted funds for its calamity loan assistance program (Clap) for the agency’s active members and pensioners in conflict-hit Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
SSS president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Dooc said in a statement that qualified members and pensioners may avail of the loan assistance starting August 2.
The SSS did not specify the amount of the allocation to Marawi City, but it said that around PhP74 million had been allotted for the conflict-hit city and the earthquake-stricken Ormoc province in Leyte.
Based on the SSS Member Loan Department’s data, members in armed-conflict areas in Lanao del Sur, particularly in Marawi City, were recorded at 1,810 with an average monthly salary credit of P10,000.
“The grant of a calamity loan was an initiative of the new Social Security Commission headed by Chairman Amado Valdez, who saw the urgent need of providing a more meaningful assistance to our members through loan availment,” Dooc said.
Dooc said the calamity loan is a new and separate loan window from the regular salary loan for members.
In the past, SSS offered the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (Slerp), which waived the required 50 percent completion of loan payment as a qualifying condition for loan renewal. Hence, even borrowers who have only paid a few monthly amortizations are allowed by SSS to renew their loans as a special consideration.
Clap is part of the SSS assistance package for affected members, which consists of two other components namely the advance release of three-month pensions and reduction of interest rates under the SSS Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program.
To qualify for the Clap, affected members should have at least 36 monthly contributions, of which six are posted within the last 12 months prior to the filing of their applications.
They should also be residents of declared calamity areas by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).
Meanwhile, pensioners in covered areas may avail of their three-month advance pension starting August 2, 2017 until October 31, 2017.
Dooc said SSS active members and pensioners may avail of as much as P16,000 under Clap or based on their average monthly salary credit. This is payable after three months from the time that they received the loan.
“To make it convenient and facilitate the filing of applications, we are implementing the “File Anywhere” policy so all SSS branches will accept applications for the three-month advance pension,” Dooc said.
“We, at SSS, want to ensure that we have extended all assistance to our affected members in the disaster-stricken and armed-conflict areas. The loan assistance will be of big help to our members as they start to rise and rebuild their lives after their catastrophic experience,” he added.