The state-run Social Security System (SSS) has released P49.78 million in pension loans to 1,976 qualified pensioners during the first 12 days of pilot implementation of the Pension Loan Program (PLP), which is now being offered in 34 branches nationwide.
SSS launched the PLP last September 3 in response to the clamor from senior citizens to put an end to the growing incidence of pensioners falling victims to lending firms that offer steep interest rates and to help them with their short-term needs like emergency medical expenses.
Top six SSS branches that received the highest number of availees on the first two weeks of implementation were Diliman (406 availees), Cebu (221), Zamboanga (157), Bacoor (119), Alabang (114), and Davao (114).
To further serve pensioners who wanted to avail of the PLP, SSS announced that 50 more branches will soon receive PLP applications.
Last September 19, additional 14 SSS branches in National Capital Region (NCR) have started accepting PLP applications, namely; Batasan Hills, Fairview, Cubao, Malabon, Antipolo, Marikina, Pasig-Rotunda, San Juan, Binondo, Legarda, Pasay Taft, Makati Ayala, Makati-JP Rizal and Taguig.
Another 36 branches in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao areas will start receiving PLP applications on September 24. These include SSS branches in Laoag, Cauayan, Tuguegarao, Balanga, Cabanatuan, Camiling, Pampanga, Malolos, Olongapo, Angeles, Carmona, Lucena, Batangas, Lipa, Puerto Princesa, Legazpi, Daet, Masbate, Sorsogon Lapu-Lapu, Tagbilaran, Talisay, Ormoc, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Kalibo, Roxas, Butuan, Iligan, Dacao Ilustre, Tagum, Toril, Koronadal, Dipolog, and Pagadian.
The PLP is open to retiree pensioners who are 80 years old and below at the end of the month of loan term, have no outstanding loan balance and benefit overpayment payable to SSS, have no advance pension under the SSS Calamity Package, and have been receiving their regular monthly pensions for at least six months.
Approved loans will gain an annual interest rate of 10 percent until fully paid computed on a diminishing principal balance, which shall become part of the monthly amortization. The pension loan is payable within three, six, or 12 months depending on the loan amount and shall be deducted from the borrower’s monthly pension.
Qualified pensioners can borrow for as low as their basic monthly pension for two months plus the additional P1,000 benefit or as high as their basic monthly pension for six months plus the additional P1,000 benefit, not exceeding P32,000.