Date Posted: 2012-08-10 10:45:08
State pension fund Government Service Insurance System today announced that its Board of Trustees approved the release of Php10 Billion for eligible members adversely affected by typhoon “Gener” and the ensuing floods brought about by the southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm “Haikui”.
“More than half a million of our members based in the calamity-declared areas are in dire need of assistance, ” President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara said.
Based on the latest declaration by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the following areas are under a state of calamity: Cities of Pasig, Marikina, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Navotas, Malabon, Muntinlupa, San Juan, Pasay, Pateros and Las Pinas, as well as the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales. The pension fund is still awaiting the declaration by the NDRRMC and concerned local government units of other areas affected by Gener and the southwest Monsoon.
The GSIS had recently relaxed the terms of its emergency loan program to make it more member-friendly.
“We reduced the interest rate to six percent from eight percent, waived the one percent service fee, and extended the payment of the first monthly amortization to three months from the loan drawdown,” Vergara explained.
Under the emergency loan program, eligible members may borrow Php20,000 payable in 36 equal monthly installments.
Members who may avail of the loan include active members working or residing in areas declared in a state of calamity; not on leave of absence without pay; have no arrearages in the payment of mandatory social insurance contributions; and have no loan that has been declared in default.
The agency of the member-applicant must not also be suspended because of non-payment and non-remittance of premiums and loans.
Qualified members may apply for an emergency loan through the GWAPS (GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System) kiosks using their eCard or their UMID eCard.
“The loans will be electronically credited to our members’ accounts. They may draw down the loan through our kiosks, so there’s no need for them to go to our offices,” Vergara said.
The GSIS has 100 stand-up kiosks distributed across the calamity-declared areas and will add 16 kiosks in its Pasay City Head Office. “These are located in city and municipal halls, provincial capitols, selected agencies, GSIS offices, and Robinsons Malls.”
Members who do not have UMID cards may apply for the loan over-the-counter (OTC) in any GSIS office.
Due to the disruption in the operations of agencies based in the calamity-declared areas, Vergara pointed out that the GSIS will not impose any interest and penalty charge, for incurring delay in the remittance of their employees’ premium and loan contributions for the month of July.
Section 7 of Republic Act 8291 or the GSIS Act of 1997, provides that “agencies which delay the remittance … shall be charged interest as may be prescribed by the Board but not less than two percent simple interest per month…”.
If the loan proceeds are not credited within seven days from the date of application, members may go to the nearest GSIS office or the nearest kiosk for the status of their account.
For any question about the emergency loan program, members may call the GSIS hotline at (02) 847.4747 or visit the GSIS office nearest them.