State pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has extended the deadline for employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) to apply for their loan transfer and consolidation program called the GSIS Financial Assistance Program (GFAL).

GSIS chairman, acting president, and general manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said the GFAL is the response of the state financial institution to the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to put an end to high-interest money lending schemes “that leave government workers cash-strapped and wedged deeper into debts.”

Under the financial assistance program, GSIS members may transfer their loan of up to P500,000 to the pension fund from lending institutions, such as government banks and cooperatives, that are duly accredited by their agencies.

The loan, which has a lower interest rate of six percent per annum and a longer repayment period of six years, will be directly paid to the lending institutions.

The new deadline for application is extended until July 26, 2020, to DepEd employees.

“More than half of GSIS membership are DepEd personnel. So they are given more time to take advantage of GFAL benefits until July 2020 instead of the earlier announced December 2019 deadline,” Macasaet said in a press statement obtained Friday by Palawan News

The GFAL was first offered to DepEd personnel on May 15, 2018, and subsequently opened to other government employees on July 29 last year.

“GFAL is a program that enables GSIS members to consolidate and transfer to GSIS their outstanding loan balance from lending institutions that charge high interests. GFAL’s low interest and longer payment term yields higher take-home pay for members and protects their future retirement benefit,” Macasaet said.

The maximum loan amount under the program is P500,000 with a six percent interest rate per annum and a 6-year payment term through salary deduction.

If the amount of loan balance transferred to GSIS is lower than P500,000 borrowers may apply for the remaining credit as Top-Up Loan for their other needs.

“GSIS pays GFAL’s proceeds directly to lenders, while Top-Up loan proceeds are released to members,” the statement also said.

GSIS said interested GFAL applicants from DepEd must be permanent employees with outstanding loans from lending institutions, government banks, or cooperatives accredited or recognized by the agency.

They should have at least three years of periods with paid premiums and have no due and demandable loan account with GSIS.

Applicants should not be on leave without pay at the time of application; have a take-home pay of not lower than P5,000 after deduction of monthly obligations, and have no pending administrative case or criminal charges.

GSIS offices are open every Saturday for GFAL transactions which include the conduct of a financial literacy seminar that borrowers are required to attend prior to their loan processing and approval.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.