SSS extends loan relief for members in calamity areas

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THE Social Security System (SSS) said Friday that it has extended its Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) with penalties condoned for another six months, to provide relief to members living in areas affected by recent calamities.

In a statement sent to reporters, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc said the fund’s LRP with penalty condonation will be extended until April 1, 2019 to accomodate more members who have outstanding short-term obligations.

“The LRP is one of our ways to extend our assistance to our members who were not able to pay on time their loan obligations with the SSS,” Mr. Dooc was quoted as saying in the statement.

He added the SSS tok into account recent calamities and inflation that may have made loan repayment difficult for some members.

Speaking in Filipino, Mr. Dooc said in a video posted on Facebook: “The commission decided to extend the program to help all of you, especially now that prices have gone up.”

SSS launched the program on April 2, collecting P2 billion from nearly 300,000 participants in the first five months of the LRP.

During the April-August period, the pension fund also condoned P4.3 billion worth of penalties, restructuring loans worth P4.9 billion.

The program is available to member-applicants residing or employed in calamity areas as declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The loan must be past due for at least six months from the start of the second LRP implementation.

Members with overdue loans can pay in full within 30 days with no additional interest. They can also apply for periodic payment periods of up to five years at 3% interest.

The program covers members with past-due loans including salary loans, emergency loans, or availed of the study now pay later plan, among others.

Failure to pay the restructured loan on the approved payment terms will entail a second round of restruuring but at a rae of 10% per annum.

“We are encouraging our members to immediately file their LRP applications and not to wait for the last minute filing next year,” Mr. Dooc added.

“We’d like to remind them that their outstanding loan will still incur interest. SSS will only condone their penalties.”

In April 2016, the pension fund offered a one-year restructuring program, collecting P6 billion from more than 800,000 members with past-due loans. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal