Calamities in the Philippines
When Filipinos talk about calamities, they often refer to typhoons, landslides, floods, and earthquakes. However, the most frequent and common calamities that Filipinos face and survive each year are tropical cyclones or bagyo. The country is located above the earth’s equator and near the western Pacific region, where typhoons are most frequently formed.
Typhoons usually first hit the Philippines and weaken before reaching neighboring countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. Cyclones occur due to warm and tropical waters. With the Philippine temperature that can go as high as 40 to 45 degrees Celsius in summer, it’s no wonder that when the wet season comes, calamities like intense storms and cyclones can have a massive impact because many Filipinos live in low-lying coastal islands.
There are several reasons why the damages are extreme: weak infrastructure, low wages, and unemployment. With buildings and homes made of substandard and light materials, a few minutes after a strong typhoon passes through and thousands of Filipinos lose their homes and are displaced. In addition, low wages and unemployment result in people not having anything to fall back on when calamities strike.
What is a Calamity Loan?
A calamity loan allows individuals to recover, rehabilitate, and renovate damaged properties brought about by the destruction of natural disasters. The interest rate and repayment period may differ, depending on the lender, but they are typically lower than a regular loan.
Unlike other types of loans, a calamity loan is exclusive for individuals who live in areas declared and placed under the State of Calamity by the President of the Philippines or officials from the Local Government Units (LGUs) or upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) or the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (LDRRMC), respectively.
Government agencies such as the SSS, Pag-IBIG Fund, and GSIS offer a calamity loan. While it works like regular loans do, a calamity loan covers a wider array of potential applicants depending on the degree of damage and casualties caused by a calamity among the public. In addition, the loan proceeds in this type of loan also differ from typical loans as they are intended to prioritize those who are affected by a specific crisis.
Who can use a Calamity Loan?
Individuals who live in a calamity-stricken area declared by the government are eligible to apply for the loan. In particular, this type of loan can be used by, but is not limited to, the members of SSS, PAG-IBIG Fund, and GSIS. Non-members of the said insurance programs and corporations may still apply for the loan through private companies such as Digido, provided they are qualified based on the given criteria.
What is an SSS Calamity Loan?
As a state-run insurance program in the Philippines, Social Security System (SSS) Calamity Loan is a type of loan exclusively provided by the government for Filipinos who need financial relief after being affected by a natural disaster. This calamity loan offers both short-term and long-term benefits for its members located in calamity-stricken areas by allowing them to avail a loan package that best suits their needs.
Each time a disaster strikes, SSS announces the calamity loan package they offer to members. For example, when supertyphoon Odette hit the Visayas, they offered the following calamity loan packages:
- Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP)
- Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan
- Three-month advance pension for pensioners
Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP)
Members who can avail of CLAP must meet the following criteria:
- Must have a My.SSS account.
- Contributed for at least 36 months, six of which should be posted within the last 12 months before the month of filing of application;
- A resident of a calamity-stricken area declared by the NDRRMC and suffered damage or loss to their properties.
- Have not been granted any final benefit such as permanent total disability or retirement.
- Have no outstanding Loan Restructuring Program (LRP) or CLAP.
- If employed, the member’s employer must certify the CLAP application through online My.SSS facility
Loan Amount: one month’s salary credit (MSC) computed based on the average of their last 12 monthly salary credits (MSCs)
Interest Rate: 10% per annum
Loan Term: 24 months
To apply for CLAP, members may do so by using their My.SSS accounts.
Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan
To be eligible for this loan, the member must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Have a total of 24 monthly contributions, three of which should be posted within the last 12-month period before the month of applying.
- Not more than 60 years old at the time of filing of the application.
- Have not been previously granted a House Repair and/or Improvement Loan by the SSS.
- Have not been granted any final SSS benefit nor was refunded SSS contributions.
- The member and his/her spouse must be up-to-date in paying all other existing loans with the SSS.
Loan Amount: maximum of Php1,000,000
- 8% per annum for loans amounting to up to P450,000
- 9% per annum for loans over P450,000
Loan Term: 5 to 20 years plus the moratorium of 6 months
To apply, the member can submit their loan application at the Member Loans Department of SSS, depending on which branch they belong to.
Three-month advance pension for pensioners
Who can apply?
- Retirement, disability, and survivor pensioners under the Social Security (SS) Program.
- Disability and survivor pensioners under the Employees’ Compensation (EC) Program pensioners
- SS and EC pensioners must be residents of the typhoon-affected areas declared by NDRRMC.
It must be noted that pensioners who have an existing loan under the Pension Loan Program (PLP) are disqualified from applying for this loan.
How to Apply
- Pensioners can download the application form from the SSS website.
- Submit a properly accomplished Application for Assistance Due to Calamity/Disaster Form duly certified by their Barangay Chairman
- Obtain certification (for form #2 above) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or NDRRMC to any SSS branch.
What is PAG-IBIG Calamity Loan?
PAG-IBIG Calamity Loan is a program designed to immediately cater to many Filipinos’ financial needs who live in places affected by a disaster as declared by the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) or Office of the President.
Through the provision of cash, this type of loan allows active and eligible PAG-IBIG members to gain benefits, should they need them at times of calamity.
- At least twenty-four (24) monthly membership savings under the Pag-IBIG Regular Savings.
- Active membership, by having at least one (1) monthly membership savings within the last six (6) months prior to the loan application date.
- If with an existing Pag-IBIG Housing Loan, Multi-Purpose Loan, and/or Calamity Loan, the account/s must not be in default.
- Proof of income.
- Authorization Letter (only for application done through a representative)
- One (1) Original copy of the Calamity Loan Application Form (CLAF, HQP-SLF-066)
- One (1) Photocopy of any of the accepted Valid IDs by Pag-IBIG which can be checked through their website.
- Proof of Income
- The “Certificate of Net Pay” portion at the back of the application form must be accomplished by the employer or submit a photocopy of one (1) month’s latest payslip duly authenticated by the company’s authorized signatory.
For Self-Employed (submit any of the following):
- One (1) Photocopy of ITR, Audited Financial Statements, and Official Receipt of tax payment from bank supported with DTI Registrant and Mayor’s Permit or Business Permit
- One (1) Original copy of Commission Vouchers reflecting the issuer’s name and contact details for the past 12 months
- One (1) Original copy of Bank Statements or passbook for the past 12 months (in case income is sourced from foreign remittance, pension, etc.)
- One (1) Original copy of Certified True Copy of Transport Franchise issued by an appropriate government agency (LGU for tricycles, LTFRB for other PUVs)
- One (1) Original copy of the Certificate of Engagement issued by the owner of the business
- One (1) Original copy of the Notarized Affidavit of Income (HQP-SLF-136)
For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) (submit any of the following):
- Employment Contract
- Certificate of Employment and Compensation (CEC)
- One (1) Original copy of Income Tax Return filed with Host Country or Government
Depending on the calamity that has struck in the borrower’s area, additional requirements may be required. The list of other requirements is mentioned in detail on the Pag-IBIG website.
How to Apply for PAG-IBIG Calamity Loan?
There are two ways to apply for Pag-IBIG Calamity Loan – online and branch application. Depending on the exclusive card you have at hand, you may avail the said loan through any of the following:
- Submit your duly accomplished loan application form and supporting documents as additional requirements through Virtual PAG-IBIG.
- For members with a PAG-IBIG Loyalty Card Plus only and whose employers are enrolled under the Virtual Pag-IBIG for Employers, you may directly fill out the loan application form that can be found online.
- For members with a Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card Plus or cash cards issued by any of Pag-IBIG Fund’s partner banks for such purpose, you may upload your completely filled out loan application form.
- Secure your STL Acknowledgement Receipt (HQP-SLF-121).
- Wait for your loan proceeds to be transferred on the given schedule.
- Visit the nearest branch of Pag-IBIG Fund.
- Submit your filled out loan application form and the complete requirements
PAG-IBIG Calamity Loan Features
Loan Amount: up to 80% of the total Pag-IBIG Regular Savings
Interest Rate: 5.95% per annum
Loan Term: 24 to 36 months, first-month deferred payment
What is a GSIS Calamity Loan?
Government Service Insurance System, commonly known as GSIS, is another state-run corporation that offers a Calamity Loan exclusively to active members of GSIS. It provides immediate cash aid for its members who are staying in a place that resides in calamity-hit areas as per the declaration of Sangguniang Panlalawigan or Panglungsod and/or the National Disaster Reduction Risk Management Council (NDRRMC).
- Must be a bona fide resident or employee of the government office within the declared calamity area.
- Must be in active service and not on leave of absence without pay.
- Has no pending criminal or administrative charges.
- Has no missing/overdue debts in their monthly contributions.
- Has no loan that has been declared in default.
Depending on the manner of application, the member can prepare the following:
- Duly filled out loan application form.
- e-Card Plus
How to Apply for GSIS Calamity Loan?
- For members with a GSIS eCard or UMID card, an application for an Emergency Loan is accepted through the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (GWAPS) kiosk.
- Borrowers can visit any GSIS office nearest them.
GSIS Calamity Loan Features
Loan Amount: will be provided to the borrower upon loan application.
Interest Rate: 6% per annum
Loan Term: 36 months
Calamity Loan vs. Other Types of Loan
A calamity loan has its own fair share of benefits and pitfalls compared to other loans. These advantages and disadvantages include the following:
Advantages of Calamity Loan
- Quick and easy fund transfer.
- Helps members recover quickly after a disaster.
- Interest rates are lower than the average interest rate compared to other loans.
Disadvantages of Calamity Loan
- Active membership is required
- The contribution must be consistent
- The Office of the President or Sangguniang Bayan (SB) must declare a state of calamity in the affected area to be able to avail of the loan.
- Application is often done through physical appearance.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to approve my calamity loan?
The turnaround time of loan approval will only take a few days. For example, Pag-IBIG provides a decision on the calamity loan approval in as fast as 2 days.
How much can I borrow?
Depending on where the applicant wishes to apply, the amount of the loan will be as follows:
- CLAP – one-month salary credit (MSC) computed based on the average of their last 12 monthly salary credits (MSCs)
- Direct House Repair and Improvement – maximum of Php1,000,000
- Three-month advance pension for pensioners
Pag-IBIG – up to 80% of the total Pag-IBIG Regular Savings
GSIS – will be provided to the borrower upon loan application
Where can I get a calamity loan if I'm not a member?
Borrowers can apply for a Quick Cash loan instead through online loan providers or private lenders such as the following:
- Loan up to Php 20,000
- 3 to 6 months loan term
- For the interest rate, the maximum APR is 35 percent
- 22 to 60 years old
- Filipino nationals living in the Philippines
- Employed individuals and selected professionals
Online Loans Pilipinas
- Loan up to Php 7,000 for first-time applicants, and up to 30,000 for repeated borrowers with a good credit standing
- Loan terms of up to 6 months
- Zero interest and no processing fee for first-time borrowers
- Filipino citizens with age 22 to 70 years
- Employed individuals and selected professionals
- Have a valid bank or e-wallet account
ACOM Consumer Finance Corporation
- Loan amount ranges from Php 3,500 to Php 500,000
- Payable from 6 to 10 months
- Interest rates start from 3.315 percent to 4.563 percent per month
- Filipino nationals, 21 to 65 years old
- Employed with a Php 7,000 minimum gross monthly income
- With existing office landline phone and personal mobile
How can I pay my loan?
- Salary deduction arrangement with their employer
- Via Virtual Pag-IBIG
- Accredited collecting partners’ outlets or their online payment channels
- SSS branch with a teller facility
- SSS-accredited bank
- SSS-authorized payment center
- GSIS branch
- Online through accredited payment channels
- Over-the-Counter through authorized payment centers
Can I apply for a calamity loan online?
Yes but for now, only Pag-IBIG calamity loans can be applied online.
How do I know if my calamity loan application was approved?
The borrower can check the application status for loan applications completed online. However, in cases where the borrower has not been informed of the approval of the loan application right away upon submission, the borrower can visit the branch or contact the government agency directly through the following numbers:
- Pag-IBIG: 8-724-4244
- SSS Hotline: 1455
- Toll-Free No.: 1-800-10-2255777
- For Calls within Metro Manila: (02) 8-847-4747
- For International Calls: (632) 8-847-4747
- For Provincial Calls: 1-800-8-847-4747 (for Globe subscribers)
- or 1-800-10-8474747 (for Smart subscribers)
Part of the administrative approach to addressing the financial concerns of many Filipinos amid an unexpected crisis is a calamity loan provided by government-owned and controlled programs. It is a type of loan in which eligible applicants are given immediate and convenient access to a certain amount of cash. The principal beneficiary of this type of loan is the bereaved and/or severely affected families residing in areas declared under the State of Calamity as per the government agencies’ mandate.