The Social Security System (SSS) has reported a 53.8-percent jump in terms of the loan releases under its Pension Loan Program (PLP) for March this year.
On Tuesday, the state-run pension fund said the increase in loan releases to retiree pensioners under the PLP amounted to P150.34 million compared to the February figure of P97.748 million.
“We are glad that we were able to reach more pensioners through the PLP with the enhanced guidelines,” SSS President and CEO Aurora C. Ignacio said. “The program will truly serve its purpose of providing for the short-term financial needs of our retiree pensioners.”
In March, the SSS relaxed its guidelines for more than 1.2 million retiree pensioners so that those who are receiving their monthly pension, even for just a month, are already qualified to avail themselves of the SSS pension loan.
Under the old guidelines, a retiree-pensioner must be receiving his monthly pension, for at least six months to qualify for the pension loan.
The agency also allowed for the use of other government-issued identification cards aside from the Social Security card (SS card) or Unified Multi-Purpose Identification (Umid) card in line with the applications under the loan program.
As of end-March, SSS pension loan releases reached P788.664 million to more than 32,872 retiree pensioners, according to the SSS.
Among the 166 branches receiving PLP applications, Bacolod branch approved the most number of PLP applications at 2,240 and released more than P47.16 million, while the Diliman branch released the highest amount of pension loans amounting to P48.08 million to more than 1,861 pensioners for the said period.
The SSS launched its PLP in September last year in celebration of its 61st anniversary. It was intended to be offered to retiree pensioners for a period of only one year.
The PLP only has a 10-percent interest per annum, which is a lower interest rate compared to high-interest loan offerings of some financial institutions.
The PLP has become a permanent loan facility of SSS under Republic Act (RA) 11199 or the Social Security Act of 2019, which took effect in March.