MANILA, Philippines — Amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the total loan assistance extended by the state-run pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to its members and pensioners breached the P10-billion mark as of mid-May.
In a statement Friday, the GSIS said over 200,000 government employees and retirees availed of loans totaling P10.12 billion as of May 13.
“P4.78 billion (47 percent) was released in the form of an emergency loan, while P5.34 billion (53 percent) was disbursed through consolidated loan (conso-loan), policy loan and pension loan,” GSIS president and general manager Rolando L. Macasaet said.
“Conso-loan, policy loan, and pension loan are regular loans offered by the GSIS that may be availed of any time by qualified borrowers, while an emergency loan is for those affected by disasters in regions or provinces declared as calamity areas by the government,” Macasaet explained.
“The COVID-19 emergency loan, launched last April 13, was the first emergency loan window opened by the GSIS on a national scale after President Duterte declared a state of public health emergency in the entire country,” Macasaet noted.
“Early in May, the GSIS enhanced the features of the COVID-19 emergency loan program by increasing the credit limit to P40,000. The increase will enable members to renew their loans even if they have not yet made any payment in their previous emergency loan account such as the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption in January this year. For those who have no prior emergency loan or outstanding balance in their previous loan, the loanable amount is P20,000,” Macasaet said.
“The GSIS also allowed members to qualify for the emergency loan even if they have incurred arrears from their previous emergency loan, and they have due and demandable accounts from other loans. In addition, the pension fund reduced the required premium payment (government and personal share) to be able to qualify for the loan—from six months to three months within the last six months before the application date,” Macasaet added.
Availment period for the GSIS’s COVID-19 emergency loan is ongoing until July 12.
Since GSIS offices and branches are closed amid the quarantine, interested members and pensioners can apply for the COVID-19 emergency loan through e-mail or GSIS wireless automated processing system (Gwaps) kiosks.
“Once the loan is approved, the proceeds will be directly credited to the unified multipurpose ID (Umid) card or temporary eCard account of the borrower,” the GSIS said.
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