THE Social Security System (SSS) saw a pickup in loan releases for retiree pensioners following the relaxed rules approved by the Social Security Commission.
In a statement sent to reporters on Tuesday, the state pension fund said it approved P150.34 million in loans under its Pension Loan Program (PLP) in March, up 53.8% from P97.748 million in loans disbursed to 4,081 retirees in February.
Last month, SSS allowed more retirees to avail of the PLP by relaxing minimum pension requirements.
The new rules allow retiree pensioners with regular and posted monthly pension of at least one month to avail of the lending facility, from the previous requirement of having at least six months of regular pension.
The new guidelines for PLP applications also allow the use of other government-issued identification cards such as Driver’s License, National Bureau of Investigation Clearance, Passport and Voter’s ID among others.
As of end-March, SSS pension loan releases reached P788.664 million to more than 32,872 retiree pensioners.
SSS Bacolod branch approved the most number of applications at 2,240, while the Diliman branch released the highest amount of loans worth P48.08 million.
The SSS launched the loan program on Sept. 3 to respond to growing demand from senior citizens for cheap loans — particularly for emergency medical expenses — and steer them away from loan sharks and other informal lenders. — KANV