SSS La Union extends loan condonation program
By Miriam P. Aquino
San Fernando City, La Union (12 September) -- In compliance with the President's directive to extend its housing loan condonation program and the inclusion of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the roster of its members, SSS La Union Branch announced the extension of its program until March 2008.
The President issued the directive during the SSS 50th Anniversary celebration held recently.
According to Roda Almazan, Section Head, Member's Assistance Program of La Union Branch, their housing loan condonation which started on December 2006 should have ended on July 2007. But, with the President's directive it has been extended for another 6 months.
Almazan said that the condonation of housing loan penalties comes in two ways, either the member pays a downpayment of P5,000.00 before paying in full or in restructured payment or re-computation of loans to be paid in specific number of years.
As part of the social payback of government reform programs, the President said the condonation of penalties and restructuring of housing loans has benefited more than 6,000 SSS members.
Also a part of the agency's anniversary present to the Filipino worker, the President said SSS also increased the members' pension twice in the last 12 months - 10 percent in September last year and another 10 percent last month.
The President thanked the SSS for recently providing the P1 billion special window for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which, she said, are the biggest job generators in the country.
"Thanks to SSS and other outstanding institutions, the rate of poverty is down, employment is up and our education and healthcare services to the poor vastly improved," the President said.
The President also encouraged the SSS to expand its membership to include the mandatory coverage of OFWs, especially seafarers, the plan to amend its Charter, and institutionalize actuarial standards and formulas, among other proposals.
SSS-La Union has 28,474 active paying employees and 6,631 employers, and 76,059 self-employed or voluntary-paying members which includes the OFWs, Almazan said. (PIA La Union) [top]