Members of the Social Security System (SSS) from areas devastated by Typhoon "Nona" can avail of a calamity relief package that includes early renewal of salary loans, advance disbursement of pensions and preferential terms for house repair and improvement loans starting on January 4, 2016.

SSS Assistant Vice President for Member Loans Department Boobie Angela A. Ocay said the calamity relief package for Typhoon “Nona” would be open starting January 4 in all areas in the country as pronounced by President Benigno S. Aquino III, who declared a National State of Calamity through Proclamation No. 1186 dated December 18.

"In this time of need, we offer our assistance to our calamity-stricken members and pensioners so that they can cope and move on faster from the effects of this recent disaster," Ocay said.

The first program under the calamity relief package is the Salary Loan Early Renewal Program (SLERP), which waives the required 50 percent completion of loan payment as a qualifying condition for loan renewal under our regular guidelines. Hence, even borrowers who have only paid a few monthly amortizations are allowed by SSS to renew their loans as a special consideration.

The SSS is also waiving the one-percent service fee normally charged on SSS salary loans to increase the loan proceeds of members availing of the SLERP. The SSS grants one-month and two-month salary loans of up to P16,000 and P32,000, respectively, which are payable in two years.

"The heavy rains and floods caused by Typhoon "Nona" had damaged thousands of houses. To help our affected members to restore their destroyed homes, the SSS is providing a lower interest rate of six percent for home repair and improvement loans as part of the calamity relief package," Ocay said.

Under the SSS Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan Program offered under the calamity relief package, eligible members can borrow funds of up to P1 million, with payment terms at a maximum of 20 years for locally-employed members and 15 years for overseas Filipino workers.

Pensioners residing in the declared calamity areas can apply for advance three-month pensions. Members and pensioners can directly claim their checks from the SSS branch that received their application within three days and one week, respectively. If unclaimed after three days, the salary loan and advance pension checks will be mailed to the member or pensioner.

Meanwhile, Ocay reminded members and pensioners covered by the calamity relief package for Typhoon "Lando," which hit several Luzon provinces last October, that the availment deadline for SLERP and the advance three-month pension will be on December 31, 2015.

"The deadline for "Lando"-affected members who intend to apply for house repair and improvement loans, on the other hand, is on October 22 next year, one year after the issuance of the corresponding circular last October 23," Ocay said.

The NDRRMC-declared calamity areas due to Typhoon "Lando" include the provinces of Isabela, Aurora, Pangasinan, Cagayan and Nueva Ecija; and municipalities of Calumpit (Bulacan), Sugpon (Ilocos Sur), Arayat (Pampanga), Infanta and General Nakar (Quezon), Camiling and Ramos (Tarlac).

“Pensioners whose registered address in the SSS database differs from their current residence must present a certification of their stay in declared calamity area from NDRRMC, Department of Social Welfare and Development or their barangay chairman along with their application form,” Ocay explained.