SSS allocates P10-B as initial fund for pensioners' loan

By Joann Villanueva

September 3, 2018, 2:44 pm

MANILA -- The Social Security System (SSS) has allocated PHP10 billion as initial budget for its Pension Loan Program (PLP), which can be availed of by about 1.5 million retirees, initially at 20 branches nationwide starting September 3, 2018.

The minimum loan amount is twice the pensioner’s basic monthly pension plus the additional PHP1,000 benefit, while maximum amount is six times the monthly pension plus the additional PHP1,000 benefit but not exceeding PHP32,000.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc, in an interview at the sidelines of the PLP launch, which is part of the agency’s 61st founding anniversary, said they are willing to increase the loan’s budget to as much as PHP30 billion depending on the take-up.

He disclosed that the loan program was in response to the “clamor” of senior citizens who are SSS pensioners.

“Ito ay aming tinanggap, inaprubahan ng Commission upang maipadama namin na ang SSS ay talagang kaagapay ng mga pensionado sa panahon ng kanilang pangagailangan (We accepted the request and the Commission approved it to let the SSS pensioners feel that we are here for them especially in times of needs,” he said.

Payable in three, six, or 12 months, Dooc said the loans have an interest rate of 10 percent, which, he said, is already low compared to others being offered in the market.

Citing results of their survey, the SSS chief said interest rates charged by other creditors may be as much as 48 percent due to hidden charges.

While monthly the interest rate of loans being offered in the market is around 2.5 percent while theirs is only around 0.83 percent, he said.

Dooc also said PLP loans have insurance coverage, which, he said, is what is needed by the pensioners.

The insurance will be given to the family if the pensioner dies while the loan is still in effect, he said, explaining the amount to be paid will be the same as the loan’s amount even if only partial payment has been made.

He hopes that pensioners will use the loans’ proceeds prudently and not rely on usurious loans to fund their needs.

“What we are offering is a better deal for our pensioners -- lower interest, more secured, affordable repayments, insurance cover -- all the advantages that they cannot find outside SSS,” he added. (PNA)