SSS opens assistance programs to Karding victims 

A RESIDENT near the Marikina River carried kitchen equipment as surrounding communities were ordered to flee when water reached critical levels on Sept. 25. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ WALTER BOLLOZOS

THE SOCIAL Security System (SSS), which covers private sector workers, announced on Thursday that it will extend financial assistance to its members and pensioners who were hit by Super Typhoon Karding, with international name Noru, which struck northern Philippines Sunday.   

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Michael G. Regino said members can avail of the Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) while pensioners can tap the Three-Month Advance Pension.  

“In response to the devastation brought about by Super Typhoon Karding, we will offer these two programs in the areas to be declared under a state of calamity by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council,” Mr. Regino said.  

“We are finalizing the guidelines for these programs, and we shall release them through our website and social media channels once available,” he added.  

A loan equivalent to a member’s average 12 monthly salary credit or an amount applied for, whichever is lower, can be availed under the CLAP.  

Meanwhile, the computation for the Three-Month Advance Pension is based on the pensioner’s monthly rate.  

Super Typhoon Karding, the 11th typhoon to hit the country this year, was a category 3 typhoon that brought heavy rains and strong winds across Luzon in northern Philippines, leaving at least eight people dead, including five rescue workers. Five others have been reported missing.  

EVACUATION CENTERSMeanwhile, Batangas Rep. Ralph G. Recto, sponsor of a bill seeking to establish a multipurpose gym in each town and city that will serve as an evacuation center, expressed optimism that the proposed measure will get priority in Congress.    

Mr. Recto, a former senator, said he has been pushing for the bill for seven years, but he is hopeful that it will move forward in the current Congress after the social welfare secretary and President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. expressed support to the idea in the aftermath of typhoon Karding.   

Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo said during a briefing on Monday that it is time to designate an evacuation center for each municipality and city.   

Mr. Marcos replied that it was a “good point.”  

Under the bill, the multipurpose gyms will be designed as disaster resilient structures with facilities for evacuation operations. — Diego Gabriel C. Robles and Kyanna Angela Bulan