WHILE some government agencies appear to be flat-flooted in serving the people amid the COVID-19 pandemic, others are delivering the exact needs of their constituents.
Take for example the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)m. In response to the call of President Duterte for credit support to education in light of the economic effects of the pandemic, the state pension fund recently opened a P20 billion study-now, pay-later loan program for college education of GSIS members’ kins.
The GSIS will allow members who have at least 15 years of government service to avail of an educational loan for their kins in college.
The loan has a term of 10 years but members will not be required to pay anything in the first five years so they don’t have to worry about the tuition of their children for the first five years.
Under the GFAL-Educational Loan (GFAL-EL), the maximum amount that may be borrowed per academic year is P100,000 covering tuition and other school fees. The interest rate is only 8%.
A GSIS member may nominate up to two student-beneficiaries under the program. The two must be related to him or her up to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity and enrolled in a four or five-year course in a private or public educational institution.
The loan proceeds will be directly paid to the school under the student’s account every semester or trimester until the beneficiaries finish their courses.
Members, including special members, who have at least 15 years of service may apply for the loan. They must not be on leave of absence without pay, have no pending administrative or criminal case, and have no past due GSIS loans (including housing loans).
They must also meet the required net take-home pay of P5,000 after deduction of their monthly premium contributions and loan amortizations, and their agencies must not be on suspended status.
The loan has an insurance cover to protect the interest of the borrowers and their student-beneficiaries. Thus it will be deemed fully paid in case the member or the student dies or becomes permanently and totally disabled.
The documentary requirements for GFAL-EL are: (1) properly filled-out application form signed by the member-borrower and duly indorsed by his or her agency’s authorized agency officer; (2) photocopy of the latest tuition fee assessment form; (3) photo copy of school ID (front and back) with three signatures of the student-beneficiary.
If the school ID is not available, the borrower may submit any valid government-issued ID with photo, signature and date of birth of the student.
If the member has a second student-beneficiary, the same documents are required to be submitted
The program is very pro-Filipino especially for government workers still reeling from the harsh effects of the global health crisis.
Hundreds of bicycles were recently distributed to displaced workers in various parts of Luzon in the simultaneous launching of the Free Bisikleta (FreeBis) project of the Department of Labor and Employment.
In Metro Manila alone, an initial 850 bicycle units were given to beneficiaries pre-selected by the local government units.
FreeBis is a project under the Integrated Livelihood Program of DOLE meant to help ease unemployment by providing livelihood opportunities to workers in the formal and informal sectors displaced by the COVID pandemic.
The launch was held in Manila, Muntinlupa, Mandaluyong and Pasig in NCR, and in Tuguegarao, Cagayan; Bacoor, Cavite; and Legazpi City, Albay.
For the National Capital Region, the beneficiaries were given bicycle units they will use as delivery riders of partner companies Grab and LalaFood.
On the other hand, group beneficiaries were assisted in their livelihood undertaking that will cater to the needs of bicycle commuters.
The bicycle units in NCR came complete with helmet, raincoat, water bottle, thermal bag and Android mobile phone with a P5,000 load in electronic payment application.
Underscoring the importance of strengthening partnership with the private sector, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that expanding opportunities for displaced workers is possible by taking advantage of the ‘bright spots’ offered by thriving industries.
Good job Secretary!
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