From the Government Service Insurance System
State pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) extended the implementation of the Home Emergency Loan Program (HELP) to October this year, and expanded the coverage of the program to include an additional 34 areas worst-hit by Yolanda.
HELP, a one-time special loan program, aims to enable GSIS members and pensioners to rebuild their homes in communities that were hardest hit by super typhoon Yolanda.
“Expanding the coverage of HELP synchronizes the effort of the System with the move of the national government to include these areas in NDRRMC’s updated list of localities severely affected by the typhoon,” GSIS President and General Manager Robert Vergara said.
The 34 additional areas now covered by HELP include, the municipalities of San Remigio, Patnongon, Valderama in the province of Antique; Almeria and Culaba in Biliran province; Tuburan in Cebu; and Baybay and Silago in Leyte.
In Eastern Samar, three municipalities are covered namely, Gen. McArthur, Llorente, and Maydolong and the municipalities of Daram, Talarora and Villareal in Western Samar.
In Iloilo, a total of 13 areas are now eligible under HELP namely, Alimodian, Anilao, Badiangan, Barotac Nuevo, Cabatuan, Dumangas, Janiuay, Lambunao, Maasin, Mina, New Lucena, Pototan, and Zarraga, and four municipalities in Negros Occidental – Calatrava, Eb Magalona, Silay City, and Victorias City.
Also included in the new list are the municipalities of Cuyo in Palawan, Balud in Masbate, as well as Loreto in Dinagat Island.
The grant of HELP to members in the 34 areas will be subject to the receipt of a resolution issued by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or Panglungsod or through a certification issued by the provincial governor or administrator and a request from the city or municipal mayor.
Under HELP, members who have been with the government for ten years or more are qualified to the maximum loan amount of P200,000. Those who have rendered service for five years or more but less than ten years may borrow up to P100,000. Members with less than five years may take out a loan of up to P30,000.
The loan is payable in ten years and bears an interest rate of six percent. The approval of the agency authorized officer is required to process the loan.
For the first quarter of this year, GSIS has released more than P8.5 billion under HELP that benefited close to 60,000 borrowers.
Inquiries on HELP may be directed to the GSIS Contact Center at 847-4747. Members and pensioners may also go to the nearest GSIS office or visit the GSIS website.