SSS emergency loan set for those laid off

Published by rudy Date posted on March 17, 2009

The Social Security System (SSS) announced Monday that it is offering an emergency fund for workers who lost their jobs because of the global financial crisis.

Romulo Neri, system president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that his agency has opened a P500-million emergency loan window for displaced workers.

Displaced workers could apply for a loan of up to P15,000 from the emergency fund, the statement added.

Neri explained that borrowers would be given a 12-month grace period before paying their amortization, which would be remitted to the Social Security System in 24 monthly installments.

To qualify for the loan, the applicant’s membership must be in good standing and he or she must have paid at least 12 monthly membership contributions before the month of separation from employment.

“The loan would be based on the members’ highest monthly salary credit for the past six months before they were laid off,” Neri added.

Members must present a certification from their former employer and have it validated by the Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment covering the company as proof of separation from employment.

Neri said the funds were sourced from the Employees’ Compensation program, which the pension fund administers with its counterpart in the public sector, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

The Social Security System administers the regular social security program, which grants sickness, maternity, disability, retirement and death benefits to members. It also provides additional compensation to employees with work-related injuries, sicknesses and death.

Neri added that the state-run agency had already exceeded the limit set by its charter, which limits short- and medium-term loans to no more than 10 percent of its investment reserve fund. “The SSS had to look for other sources of funding.”

All SSS annual contribution collections go to covering the regular disbursements for members’ benefits, he said.- Maricel E. Burgonio, Reporter, Manila Times

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