SSS offers a disaster loan to Odette victims

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SCAR Residents of the Dinagat Islands are affected by Typhoon “Odette”, which wreaked havoc in Visayas and Mindanao on December 16. —MALACAÑANG PHOTO

Members of the private sector and retirees of the social security system (SSS) who were affected by Typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai) two weeks ago can avail themselves of disaster loan assistance packages which will be offered in January.

In a circular issued on Saturday, SSS President and CEO Aurora Cruz Ignacio said the state-run pension fund would start accepting requests for aid from three types of calamity victims in six storm-devastated regions.

The loan program as well as the three-month retirement advance for Social Security (SS) and Employee Benefits (CE) retirees will be available until April 13, 2022.

The direct home repair and improvement loan, meanwhile, will be offered for a period of one year, or until January 13, 2023.

Ignacio said SSS members and retirees in areas President Duterte has placed under a state of calamity for a year, starting December 21, can apply for these loans and retirement benefits.

These regions are Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Caraga.

Officials did not say how much has been set aside for support packages at press time.

Filed online

Similar to previous government assistance to residents of areas severely affected by natural disasters, disaster loan applications can be filed online, through the SSS website, by members with at least 36 monthly dues. , of which six months should have been paid within the last 12 months.

Additionally, applicants must not have any outstanding SSS loans.

The catastrophe loan will be equivalent to a monthly salary credit or the amount requested, whichever is lower.

An annual interest rate of 10 percent will be added to the loan, repayable within two years in 24 monthly installments.

SS retirees, disabled and surviving pensioners as well as disabled and surviving CE pensioners can apply for a maximum of three months of early pension, as long as they do not have an existing pension loan.

“SS and CE retirees who have made use of [themselves of] early pension for previous disasters and whose pensions are still suspended may [apply for] the three-month early retirement pension for Typhoon Odette, provided that the early retirement pension does not exceed three months at any time, ”the circular said.

The SSS will also grant its members a maximum loanable amount of 1 million pesos for the direct loan for repair and improvement of houses, subject to revaluation every five years. Home repairs will have annual interest rates of 8% for loans below P450,000 and 9% for those loans above P450,000.

The SSS will waive the 1% service charge for the Disaster Loan Assistance Program as well as the processing fee for the Home Repair Loan.

P20.54 billion damage

At the same time, the National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC) said in a situation report on Sunday that the storm had affected more than one million families or some 3.9 million people in 5 908 barangays in Mimaropa, Bicol region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas. , Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos), Caraga and the Autonomous Region of Bangsamoro in Muslim Mindanao.

The agency also reported 378 deaths and 60 missing in those 11 regions.

As of Friday, the NDRRMC has reported the same death toll in the following provinces: 96 in Bohol, 6 in Negros Oriental, 58 in Cebu, 21 in the Dinagat Islands and 18 in Palawan.

Forty died in Negros Occidental, 31 in Surigao del Norte, 27 in Southern Leyte, 7 in Agusan del Sur, four in Misamis Oriental, two each in Iloilo, Bukidnon and Guimaras Island, and one each in Leyte, Misamis Occidental, Agusan del Norte and the city of Butuan.

Of those missing, 17 were in Palawan, 15 in Bohol, 11 in Cebu, six in Negros Oriental, five each in Agusan del Sur and Negros Occidental, and one in Southern Leyte. There were also 742 injured.

The combined damage to agriculture and infrastructure has been estimated at more than 20.54 billion pesos.

Damage to agriculture amounted to 3.96 billion pesos in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Mimaropa, Bicol region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, northern Mindanao, Davao region and Caraga.

The Western Visayas were the hardest hit, with damage estimated at 1.8 billion pesos, followed by Mimaropa at over 1 billion pesos.

In terms of infrastructure, the combined damage amounted to 16.577 billion pesos in Mimaropa, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen and Caraga.

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