THE SSS condoned members’ penalties under its loan restructuring program. — BW FILE PHOTO

THE SOCIAL SECURITY System (SSS) condoned P9.5 billion in short-term penalties of calamity-affected members under the second round of its loan restructuring program (LRP).

In a statement on Wednesday, the state pension fund said more than 658,000 member-borrowers availed of the LRP during its one-year run that ended in April. This was more than twice the 250,000 applications expected prior to the implementation.

In turn, the SSS restructured P10.9 billion in loans and generated income amounting to P4.4 billion.

“Members who paid their outstanding loans in full through LRP will again enjoy their loan privileges after six months from the time that they have paid their loans. They are now worry-free from any loan deductions on their future benefits such as their retirement pension,” SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio was quoted as saying in the statement.

The pension fund launched its second LRP in April last year to provide members who reside or work in calamity-stricken areas financial relief by waiving penalties imposed on loans past due for at least six months prior the start of the program.

The LRP covered member-borrowers who had past due loans from programs such as Salary Loan, Emergency Loan, Educational Loan (old) and Study Now Pay Later Plan, among others.

The SSS first implemented the LRP from April 28, 2016 until April 27, 2017 to assist calamity-affected members.

Under the first run, SSS restructured P13.8 billion worth of loans and condoned P13.5 billion in penalties. The pension fund also generated income worth P5.8 billion.

Ms. Ignacio said the SSS was “pleased” with the results of both LRP implementations, especially with the number of members who applied.

“SSS understands that natural calamities make it difficult for its members to pay their loan obligations. We are glad that through the LRP, the pension fund was able to help more than 1.51 million member-borrowers who were affected by various calamities to settle their unpaid loans,” she said.

Ms. Ignacio also encouraged members who are paying their restructured loans in installment terms to pay their obligations on time to regain their good standing with the SSS. — K.A.N. Vidal