State pension fund Government Service Insurance System is opening a window for emergency loans for its pensioners from the areas devastated by super typhoon "Yolanda," including Negros Occidental, its chairman Daniel Lacson, Jr., announced yesterday in a press release.
The EML for pensioners facility is being rushed to be opened as soon as possible, Lacson said, adding that they need to adjust its system to include this new type of loan.
The state pension fund has already opened the EML window for its members in the calamity areas, including even those who still have outstanding loans, he said.
Lacson added that they have also approved a six-month moratorium on loan collections in the areas directly hit by the typhoon, like Tacloban.
This will help members in these badly-hit areas to recover and rehabilitate their lives, he also said, but stressed that they are setting guidelines for this to make sure this is not abused.
The loanable amount for the EML varies from P20,000 and P40,000. For new availees, the gross amount shall be P20,000; for renewals and with outstanding obligation the gross amount shall be P40,0000, the press release said.
In Negros Occidental, there are 8,555 old-age GSIS pensioners and 38,986 members.
Active members with Unified Multi-Purpose Identification cards can go to GSIS office or the nearest GW@PS (GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System) kiosks which we have deployed in all cities, Department of Education division offices and one in Robinsons Place mall to file their applications, GSIS-Bacolod branch manager Vilma Fuentes said.
Temporary card holders can file over the counter through their liaison officers, Fuentes added.
Pensioners can file an application over the counter using the prescribed EML form. The same requirement applies when filing a pension loan, she said.
Processing of applications for active members have already started, she said.
Meanwhile, pensioners may start filing over the counter application as soon as the facility for their EML is available considering that this is the first time that GSIS is opening this kind of loan window, and we need to put it a new program configuration in the system, she said.
For active members it usually takes a minimum of three working days from approval of the Agency Authorized Officer to process the loans, Fuentes also said.
The loans will be payable starting three months after they are taken out, Lacson said, so we can give a breather to our members and pensioners affected by the superstorm.
Lacson also said the guidelines on the six-month moratorium are being rushed to determine which exactly are the places that need this.
“We also agreed to review this and taking into account the realities on the ground, might extend it to a year if it is really needed,” Lacson added.*