Philippine pension Social Security System (SSS) has launched a loan assistance scheme targeted at members affected by the coronavirus pandemic, who can each borrow up to 20,000 pesos (US$399.43).
The scheme, called Calamity Loan Assistance Programme, or CLAP, is expected to attract some 1.74 million of the pension fund’s 36 million members, SSS says in a statement on June 16.
The terms are better than the fund’s other calamity loans because the impact of the coronavirus is "greater than other calamities", according to SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio.
"With that in mind, we have extended the payment term of this particular CLAP to 27 months, and have lessened the interest rate to 6% per annum," she says in the statement.
The pension fund’s loans for other calamities such as floods, earthquake, tsunamis and hurricanes are typically repayable over 24 months at 10% interest a year.
It’s the latest in a series of measures the SSS has introduced over the last few months to help members facing financial woes from the pandemic.
The Philippines had 26,781 coronavirus cases, including 1,103 deaths, as at June 17.
Last week, the SSS extended the deadline for contributions for February through April by a month to June 30.
In April, it introduced a programme for businesses to obtain wage subsidies of up to 8,000 pesos per employee.
Private sector workers contribute 13% of their monthly salaries to the SSS, split between employers and employees. Employers contribute two-thirds and employees contribute one-third.
The SSS had 511 billion pesos of total assets as of end-2018, according to the latest available figures.