GSIS financial loan assistance open to DOLE employees
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Employees of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with outstanding obligations from lending institutions may now access a loan facility from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), which will allow them to repay their loans at better terms.

According to the state pension fund, GSIS chairman and acting president Rolando Macasaet and Labor Secretary Silvestro Bello recently signed an agreement, which allows 5,600 employees of DOLE and its attached to avail of the GSIS’ Financial Assistance Loan (GFAL) Program.

The program allows GSIS members to transfer their existing loans amounting to up to P500,000 from lending institutions to the pension fund.

If a member’s total loan is below P500,000, the balance may be applied for as a top-up loan, with the proceeds directly payable to the borrowers through check.

The loan carries an interest rate of six percent per annum, payable in monthly installments for six years, and will be paid directly to the lending institutions.

GFAL was initially offered to public school teachers and employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) last May 2018 to improve their financial capacity and help them refinance their outstanding loans for lending institutions.

In July 2019, the state pension fund started to expand the program’s coverage to other agencies and local government units due to the strong interest for the program.

The GSIS said the program was in response to the call of President Duterte to help improve the financial situation government employees who fall prey to money lending schemes, which are often tied with high interest rates.

According to the GSIS, active regular or special members who have permanent employment status, have no pending administrative case or criminal charge, and are not on leave without pay are qualified to apply for the program.

They should also have at least three years of period with paid premiums, have no due and demandable loan account with GSIS, and have a take-home pay not lower than P5,000 after all monthly obligations have been deducted.

In the first quarter, GSIS’ net income jumped four-fold to P38.7 billion from P9.05 billion in the same period last year.

The state fund attributed the increase to the rise in stock market values, as well as the increase in interest income.

According to GSIS, its interest income rose during the period due to its new loan program, such as the GFAL and the GSIS Enhanced Salary Loan Plus.

GSIS said its premium collections also grew by seven percent year-on-year as active members increase to 1.8 million this year from 1.7 million last year.

Total assets also reached P1.2 trillion, six percent higher than the level recorded in the same period in 2018.

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