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Agencies, LGUs join GSIS new loan program bandwagon

Date Posted: August 29, 2019

With GFAL, days of loan sharks seen as over

State pension fund Government Service Insurance System has started its caravan nationwide for the expanded GSIS financial assistance loan (GFAL) program or GFAL II for non-DepEd agencies and local government units.

This was announced by Chairman and Officer in Charge Rolando Ledesma Macasaet following the signing of agreement between GSIS and the City Government of San Juan on Tuesday to implement GFAL for about 1,000 members in San Juan.

“Since the launch of GFAL II last July 29, a total of 50 agencies and local government units have signed up agreements with the pension fund to enable their employees to enjoy its benefits of lower interest rate of 6% per annum and longer repayment period of six years,” Macasaet said.

In the coming months, the pension fund is set to ink pacts with about a hundred remitting partner agencies and local government units across the country for the GFAL offering.

“The GFAL program is GSIS’s response to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to help free government employees from the clutches of lending institutions who practice schemes such as ‘5-6’, which are often tied with hefty double digit interest rates,” Macasaet added.

GFAL is the balance-transfer and debt-consolidation facility of GSIS that aims to help active GSIS members settle their outstanding loan obligations with lending institutions.

Originally offered to teaching and nonteaching personnel of the Department of Education, the program has been extended to the rest of GSIS members effective July 27, 2019.

The expanded GFAL program, named GFAL II, seeks to ease the burden of other government personnel and help enhance the pension fund’s collection efficiency. Under GFAL II, borrowers may transfer their loan balances to GSIS from lending institutions.

“A maximum loan amount of Php500,000, with an interest rate of only 6% per annum, is certainly advantageous to our members. This will ultimately result in higher net take home pay and protect their future retirement benefit,” Macasaet explained.

This year, GFAL’s features were further improved by introducing a Top-Up option, which will enable borrowers to maximize the loanable amount of Php500,000.

GFAL borrowers whose outstanding loans with lending institutions do not exceed Php500,000 may apply for the remaining available credit as Top-Up Loan. Unlike the GFAL proceeds, which GSIS pays directly to lending institutions, the Top-Up Loan proceeds will be released to the member.

To qualify for GFAL, applicants must be permanent government employees with outstanding loan from lending institutions, government banks, or cooperatives accredited or recognized by their agency; have at least three years of periods with paid premiums; and have no due and demandable loan account with GSIS.

In addition, they should not be on leave without pay at the time of application; have a net take-home pay of not lower than Php5,000 after deduction of monthly obligations; and have no pending administrative case or criminal charge.

Further, all GSIS offices are open every Saturday for GFAL transactions, including the conduct of a financial literacy seminar, which is a requirement prior to loan processing.

Interested parties may visit the GSIS website (www.gsis.gov.ph) or Facebook account (@gsis.ph); email gsiscares@gsis.gov.ph; or call the GSIS Contact Center at 847-4747, 1-800-8-847-4747 (for Globe and TM subscribers), or 1-800-10-847-4747 (for Smart, Sun, and Talk ‘n Text subscribers).