MANILA – The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has stopped accepting emergency loan applications vis-à-vis the pandemic but has lined up three other loans programs that will address the needs of its members.
In an interview during the Laging Handa public briefing program aired over PTV 4 Tuesday, GSIS president and general manager Rolando Macasaet said the emergency loan application ended last August 12.
He said they have implemented the emergency loan program since April, and have released about PHP15 billion.
To address additional financing requirements of workers on account of the pandemic, the state-owned pension fund for government employees will be launching within this week or next week the computer loan program, wherein members can borrow up to PHP30,000, which is payable in three years and has a 6-percent annual interest rate.
Macasaet said this program can be borrowed by members for their children or their nephews and nieces who will need the equipment for their studies.
Another program is the 10-year education loan, which has a five-year grace period and payment will only start in the sixth year after the loan approval. This is expected to be implemented within this month.
Macasaet said this loan is not expected to greatly burden GSIS members alone because if the loan proceeds were used to finance the college education of members’ children, the payment will start when the students have already graduated and hopefully found jobs.
He said members who can avail of this loan are those who are already in government service for at least 15 years and probably have kids aged around 16-18 years old.
“Kasi po, pinuprotektahan ko rin po iyong funds ng GSIS. Kasi po, kapag 15 years na kayo po, entitled na kayo to a pension eh (We are also protecting GSIS’ funds. It is because if you have been in government service for 15 years, you are already entitled for a pension),” he added.
Macasaet said while GSIS’ fund life is among the safest in the world, at around 30 years, there is a need to remain cautious to safeguard the welfare of the members, pensioners, and the beneficiaries of the members.
Another loan program that is in the pipeline is the re-implementation of the GSIS Financial Assistance Loan (GFAL) program, which allows members to transfer their loans amounting to up to PHP500,000 from other institutions. This loan program was suspended last March.
This loan has an annual interest of 6 percent, way below around 30 percent being slapped by other lending institutions, Macasaet said.
Macasaet said they have already released nearly PHP100 billion for this program and this has benefited around 200,000 state workers.
He said borrowers will still be required to attend a financial education seminar before they can avail of the GFAL, but the seminar will now be done online.
He added the financial education seminar will give GSIS members insights on what to do with their money and prevent previous instances wherein members fail to properly use their funds and were burdened by large amounts of loans.
Macasaet said GSIS continues to improve their system to be able to cater the increased online processing requirements for the agency’s various products and services. (PNA)