MANILA – The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has released a total of PHP221 billion in loans to 1.38 million active members and pensioners nationwide from January 2021 to May 15, 2022.
“We rolled out several programs under our Ginhawa for All benefit bundles to extend financial assistance at a time when our members and pensioners needed it most. Alam namin na GSIS ang inaasahang mangalaga sa seguridad at kapakanan ng mga kawani ng gobyerno. Ang malaking responsibilidad na ito ay bahagi ng ating tungkulin (We know that GSIS will have to take care the security and welfare of the government employees. This big responsibility is part of our mandate),” GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said in a news release on Thursday.
Of the total amount of loans granted, PHP165 billion was in multi-purpose loan (MPL), which benefitted 468,872 borrowers. The loan aims to help active members, particularly those who have reached their borrowing limit and unable to pay their loans. MPL consolidates members’ existing loans and waives surcharges on in-default loan accounts.
In April 2022, GSIS launched the enhanced MPL program by coming out with the MPL Plus. Under MPL Plus, members may apply for up to 14 times their basic monthly salary, but not to exceed PHP5 million, depending on their premium payments. The loan has a low interest rate of 7 percent and its term has been extended to 10 years.
Under another loan product, the Computer Loan program, GSIS disbursed PHP7.6 billion in gross proceeds to 253,481 borrowers. It is a loan window that grants a PHP30,000 assistance to GSIS members for the purchase of a computer unit for their work-from-home arrangement or their children’s online classes. The computer loan is payable in three years with 6 percent interest per annum. This year, GSIS extended the implementation of the program for another three months (or until June 2022) to give more time for the 1.56 million qualified members to avail of the loan.
GSIS also processed a total of 64,381 applications under the GSIS Financial Assistance Loan (GFAL) program from 2021-May 15, 2022, disbursing a total amount of PHP27.8 billion.
GFAL is a balance- transfer facility aimed at enabling GSIS members settle their outstanding loan balance with other lending institutions with reduced interest rate and longer payment term. Through GFAL, GSIS intends to improve the financial capability of GSIS members and save them from the bondage of debt.
Aside from MPL, computer loan, GFAL and GFAL Educational Loan, GSIS also offers the regular policy loan and emergency loan. It released PHP8.8 billion to 355,956 policy loan borrowers and another PHP5.519 billion to 165,352 emergency loan borrowers from January 2021 to May 15, 2022.
Policy loan is a program where members may avail of from their GSIS life insurance policy. The loan, bearing an 8 percent interest rate, may be paid either through monthly amortization or deduction from a member’s existing life insurance policy contract. Emergency loan, on the other hand, aims to assist government employees and old-age and disability pensioners in times of natural calamities and disasters.
The pension fund also released PHP175 million to 1,504 members through the GFAL Educational Loan program from 2021 to May 15, 2022. This program was GSIS’s response to the call of the government for credit support to education in light of the economic effects of the pandemic. It is a study-now pay-later loan program intended for the college education of children or relatives of active GSIS members. The maximum amount that may be borrowed per academic year is PHP100,000 covering tuition and other school fees. The interest rate is only 8 percent. A GSIS member may nominate up to two student-beneficiaries under the program.
Meanwhile, a total of 56,110 pensioners benefitted from the PHP4.6 billion released by GSIS from January 2021 to May 15, 2022 under the Enhanced Pension Loan. Another 7,903 pensioners were granted Pensioners’ Emergency Loan from the total amount of P204 million paid by GSIS in the same period.
Even inactive members were given the opportunity by GSIS to restructure their loans. Under the Program for Restructuring and Repayment of Debts (PRRD), GSIS released a total of PHP203 million to 1,498 inactive members.
PRRD is a one-time condonation and restructuring program for inactive GSIS members with outstanding loans. GSIS members who are already out of government service and financially incapable to settle their outstanding loan balances in full may apply for PRRD.
“We faced the struggles and embraced the challenges brought about by the pandemic, so we can provide the essential needs of our clients — convenience, protection, and safety. We encourage our members and pensioners to avail of GSIS loan programs to aid them in their various expenses. By doing so, they are also helping GSIS sustain its actuarial life and enable us to pay our members and pensioners their benefits as and when they fall due,” Macasaet appealed. (PR)