THE Social Security System (SSS) said it approved P15.63 billion worth of calamity assistance loans during the pandemic as well as P190.2 million in unemployment insurance benefits (UIBs) as of July.
In a statement Tuesday, SSS President and CEO Aurora Cruz Ignacio said 1.03 million applicants were approved for the Calamity Loan Assistance Package (CLAP) between June 15 and July 28, averaging P15,144 per claim.
She said the UIB program benefited around 14,186 applicants between July 1 and 27.
Since August 2019, UIB approvals have totaled P544.37 million, going to 43,347 applicants.
CLAP for COVID-19 runs until Sept. 14. It charges a fixed interest rate of 6%.
Eligible SSS members can avail of UIB equivalent to half of their average monthly salary for up to two months, if they are involuntarily separated from employment due to economic slowdown, redundancy, calamity, installation of labor-saving devices, retrenchment, business closure and illness rendering the member unable to work.
Application and filing of claims online has been made mandatory for such benefits, as well as funeral benefit claims, sickness benefit reimbursement for employers, and salary loans.
The state-run pension fund has also started releasing UIB and funeral benefits to its members using electronic payment channels.
Last year, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, who is also the chairman of the Social Security Commission, ordered the SSS to digitize its systems to fast-track the grant of loans and benefits. — Beatrice M. Laforga