The Social Security System (SSS) called on its members to take advantage of the extended business hours of over a hundred SSS branches nationwide that would remain open on all Saturdays of September in line with the pension fund's 59th anniversary celebration.
SSS Member Loans Department Head Boobie Angela A. Ocay said the branches would particularly cater to borrowers who want to apply for the Loan Restructuring Program (LRP). The program helps calamity-affected members finally settle their long-overdue SSS loans by offering them longer payment periods and conditional penalty condonation.
"Our branches reported a low turnout last September 3, the first Saturday of this month. We look forward to a better turnout in the remaining three Saturdays on September 10, 17 and 24, especially among working members who have little time for SSS transactions during weekdays," Ocay said.
Currently, a total of 112 local SSS branches -- 46 in the National Capital Region, 31 in Luzon, 14 in Visayas and 21 in Mindanao - joined the special Saturday schedule for LRP availments. Those open on theSaturdays of September comprise nearly 70 percent of the agency's local branch network.
"SSS branch counters for disability, death and retirement claims and tellering facilities will not be available during these Saturdays. However, depending on the available personnel and resources, SSS branches will accept other SSS transactions apart from LRP applications," she said.
On the first Saturday of implementation last September 3, the agency recorded over P22 million in restructured loans of some 1,300 delinquent borrowers who submitted their applications for the LRP, on top of the other SSS transactions received by the participating branches.
"It must be emphasized, however, that penalties would only be waived once the loan principal and interest are fully paid by these borrowers under the LRP," Ocay said.
The branches that received the highest number of LRP applications on September 3 include SSS Bacoor, Diliman, Antipolo, DasmariAas, Cainta, BiAan, Deparo, and Calamba.
Members with short-term loans that are past due for at least six months as of April 28, 2016 are eligible for the LRP, provided that they also reside or work in calamity areas declared by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or the national government.
LRP applicants can opt to pay their loan principal and interest in full within 30 days after SSS has approved their application. To help ease the financial burden on borrowers, they can also pay in monthly installments for a period of up to five years with a low three percent annual interest.
The SSS offers a one-year availment period for the LRP which would end on April 27, 2017. Members can enroll at the My.SSS portal of the SSS website (www.sss.gov.ph) to view their Statement of Loan Accounts as well as their posted contributions, benefit payments, and other membership data.
Source: Philippine Information Agency