The Social Security Commission, the policy-making body of the Social Security System (SSS) has approved the grant of a calamity relief package for SSS members and pensioners affected by Typhoon Lando for calamity areas declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

SSS Assistant Vice President for Member Loans Boobie Angela A. Ocay said SSS members and pensioners residing in areas to be declared by the NDRRMC under a state of calamity due to Typhoon Lando can avail themselves of the agency’s calamity relief package. The tentative start of the program is on October 26 depending on the NDRRMC declaration.

The SSS calamity relief package consists of the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP) which allows members to renew their loans earlier than the prescribed date; the SSS Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program, which offers a lower interest rate of only six percent per annum; and three-month advance payment for members receiving pensions under SSS and Employees’ Compensation Program.

“This is our way of providing immediate assistance to our members affected by Typhoon Lando. They can renew their loans or advance their pension even before they are due for renewal or payment,” Ocay said, “We hope that through this calamity package assistance, our members would be able to provide for their basic needs like food, shelter and health care.”

Ocay said the grant of salary loans under SLERP will be subject to the same eligibility guidelines of regular salary loans. “To further help them in their recovery, we will waive the one-percent service fee charged on proceeds of said loans,” she added.

For the advanced pension payments, Ocay said pensioners, whose present address is different from the address in the SSS database will have to submit a barangay certification to prove that they reside in a declared calamity area.

“To our members whose houses need repair after the typhoon, they may avail of cash assistance through our Direct House Repair and Improvement loan window, which now only carries an interest of six percent per annum,” Ocay said.

Ocay said qualified SSS members and pensioners have until December 31, 2015 to apply for loans and advance pensions while deadline of application for the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan, is up to one year from issuance of its corresponding circular.

As of October 19, the NDRRMC has not yet declared calamity areas affected by Typhoon Lando which made landfall over Casiguran, Aurora last October 18.  Based on the latest NDRRMC report, a total of 4,892 families were evacuated to evacuation centers due to the typhoon.(SSS Media Affairs Department)