SSS eases rules on pension loan program

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Social Security System (SSS) has relaxed the rules on the application for its pension loan program to allow more than 1.2 million pensioners easier access to financial assistance from the state fund.

In a statement, SSS president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Dooc said a retiree-pensioner with an “active” pension status, and with at least one month of posted regular pension is now qualified to apply for the loan.

“Previously, a retiree pensioner must be receiving his monthly pension for at least six months to qualify for the SSS pension loan. But through our new issuance, even if they are receiving their regular monthly pension for just a month only and it is already posted in the system, they are already qualified to avail of a pension loan,” Dooc said.

In addition, he said the new guidelines now allow interested applicants to use other government-issued identifications cards aside from the Social Security Card or Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) card as a form of identification document.

These include the alien certificate of registration issued by Bureau of Immigration, driver’s license issued by Land Transportation Office, firearm registration, license to own and process firearms, and Permit to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence from the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance, passport, postal identity card, seafarer’s identification and record book (seaman’s book); and voter’s ID card.

“In absence of a primary ID card or document, filer shall present, submit any two valid ID cards or documents, both with signature and at least one with photo,” the SSS chief said.

According to Dooc, the state pension fund continues to find ways to help pensioners in meeting their short-term financial needs.

“We hope that our pensioners opt to avail of the SSS pension loan in times of emergency expenses. Aside from the low-interest rate, we also make sure that they will still receive a portion of their monthly pension so that not all of it goes to loan repayment which is happening now when they borrow from loan sharks,” Dooc said.

“The loanable amount may not be as huge as what others may be offering, but it sure does serve its purpose to assist them in their short-term financial needs such as emergency medical expenses,” he said.

The SSS pension loan was offered to pensioners starting Sept. 3 last year.

The program was launched in response to the clamor of senior citizens to put an end to the growing incidence of pensioners falling victim to loan institutions that offer steep interest rates. It also seeks to help pensioners in their short-term needs, such as emergency medical expenses.

As of Feb. 28, pension loan releases from the SSS reached P638.33 million.

Among the 166 branches receiving PLP applications, Bacolod branch approved the most number of PLP applications at 1,982, equivalent to about P41.53 million.

Diliman branch, on the other, released the highest amount of pension loans amounting to P41.80 million for the said period.

Meanwhile, other branches with a high amount of PLP approvals were the Victorias branch in Bacolod with 1,472 approved applications (P31.02 million loan releases); Cebu branch with 1,096 applications (P27.20 million); and Bago branch with 1,002 applications (P21.06 million).


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