Pag-IBIG fast-tracks disaster loans; GSIS opens P10-B window for affected members means BUSINESS

MANILA, Philippines – Satellite offices of the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) were ordered Thursday to expedite requests for calamity loans, while the pension fund of State workers, GSIS, approved the release of P10 billion for members adversely affected by typhoon “Gener” and floods caused by monsoon rains.

Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council chair Jejomar C. Binay instructed the Pag-IBIG to set up satellite offices to accept and process calamity loans and provide other services to members affected by massive flooding in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

“We aim to help   those affected by the floods. Through satellite offices, it will be easier for them to file their applications for calamity loans,” Binay said.

Pag-IBIG has placed desks at the Lingkod Pinoy Counters of Robinsons Malls in Galleria in Ortigas; Ermita in Manila; Metro East in Pasig; Novaliches; Imus and Dasmariñas in Cavite; Sta. Rosa in Laguna; and Starmills in San Fernando, Pampanga.

The Fund will also deploy mobile desks in the city/municipality halls of Caloocan, Malabon, Valenzuela and Navotas.

In Cavite, Pag-IBIG members may apply for calamity loans in mobile desks in Naic Municipal Hall on August 10 and in Ternate Municipal Hall on August 13.

In Laguna, loan applications may be processed in San Pablo City Hall and in Laguna Provincial Capitol in Sta. Cruz.

Meanwhile, Pag-ibig members in Bulacan may go to the Provincial Capitol in Malolos for their loan applications.

“Most Pag-ibig branches in the affected areas are open. Those that are flooded will resume operations once the water subsides,” Pag-IBIG President and CEO Atty. Darlene Berberabe said.

Eight cities in the National Capital Region, five provinces and 12 cities and municipalities have been declared under state of calamity after typhoon Gener and the southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm Haikui pounded Luzon with heavy rains.

Pag-IBIG members in these areas may borrow as much as 80 percent of their total contributions at an interest rate of 5.95 percent. The loan shall be amortized in 24 months with a grace period of three months.

Those who want to access the loan should bring an accomplished Pag-IBIG Calamity Loan Application Form, signed and certified by the employer, and two identification cards (IDs).

The Cavite branch of Pag-IBIG has been receiving 1,000 applications for calamity loans a day since 14 towns were declared under state of calamity last week.

GSIS allots P10-B emergency loan fund

Meanwhile, State pension fund Government Service Insurance System announced Thursday that its Board of Trustees approved the release of P10 billion for eligible members adversely affected by typhoon “Gener” and the ensuing floods from sustained monsoon rains.

“More than half a million of our members based in the calamity-declared areas are in dire need of assistance, ” said GSIS President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara.

Based on the latest declaration of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the following areas are under a state of calamity: National Capital Region,  Cavite , Rizal, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan , Zambales, Bulacan and Laguna.

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 can borrow P20,000 payable in 36 equal monthly installments.

Members who may avail themselves 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 pending criminal or administrative charges; 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 can 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 can 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 an eCard but who are eligible to apply for the loan may apply over-the-counter (OTC) at any GSIS office. Proceeds of OTC applications will be credited to a temporary eCard which the GSIS continues to distribute.

Due to the disruption in the operations of agencies based in the calamity-declared areas, Vergara  said GSIS will not impose any interest and penalty charges, 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 can  proceed 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.