To help them rebuild their lives amid the calamity, Senator Win Gatchalian is calling for the imposition of a one-year moratorium on loan amortizations for residents affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
Immediately upon Congress’ resumption of session on Monday, Gatchalian has filed Senate Resolution No. 289 (SRN 289) urging the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS) and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) to extend calamity or emergency loans to and/or impose a one-year moratorium on loan amortizations of members who are residents of the Taal volcano eruption calamity areas.
Gatchalian made this promise to affected residents when he visited Batangas to check the condition of the evacuees and to personally turn over cash assistance to affected towns, while a hazardous explosive eruption might still happen in hours or days.
SRN 289 also urges Local Government Units (LGUs) to be more lenient to affected businesses on the payment of real property taxes, renewal of business permits and imposition of penalties. Simultaneously, it calls on both private and government banks to defer loan payments of affected borrowers.
The lawmaker said that the GSIS, SSS and Pag-IBIG Fund have not yet issued a moratorium with a term longer than 6 months on the loan amortizations of their respective members and/or pensioners residing in the said calamity areas, nor have these agencies extended calamity assistance or emergency loans to affected members.
Records from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) as of January 18 showed that 37,355 families or 162,728 individuals were staying in various evacuation centers in the Province of Batangas.
“Kami po ay nakikiramay at nakikiisa sa ating mga kababayan sa Batangas. Nandito ho kami para tuloy-tuloy na sumuporta sa mga pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan at sisiguraduhin po naming sa loob ng Senado na maibibigay po ang pondo para sa rehabilitasyon ng mga nasirang gusali,” Gatchalian said.
By imposing a one-year moratorium on loan amortization and suspending the imposition of penalties by LGUs to calamity-affected business establishments will not only help affected citizens to recover and rebuild, it will also facilitate and reinvigorate the economy of the affected areas.