The Philippine Social Security System or SSS is a social insurance program for private company employees and self-employed Filipinos in the Philippines. It provides retirement and health benefits to its members, aside from the loans available.
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is entitled to be an SSS member and has the privilege to avail the Direct Housing Loan Facility which aims to provide socialized and low-cost housing for them.
To apply for a housing loan, an OFW must know if he or she is a qualified OFW. How? SSS defines an OFW as a private sector worker who is:
- currently deployed with a contract processed through the POEA or authenticated by the Embassy abroad.
- with employment contracts awaiting renewal/deployment
- a Filipino national but who is now a citizen or immigrant of a foreign countries but is interested in buying a housing unit for his family who is still in the country.
- a long-term resident overseas Filipinos who wish to avail of housing packages either for themselves when they retire or when they visit the Philippines and/or for their extended families.
OFWs who fit under these conditions should also be a member of SSS to be able to apply for a housing loan. The OFW must meet the following requirements:
- Member should be a certified Overseas Filipino Worker.
- A voluntary OFW member of SSS.
- Has at least 36 months contribution and 24 continuous contributions in the period prior to the application.
- The OFW is not more than 60 years old at the time of application and must be insurable. Members who are aged 60 years at the time of application will have a maximum loan term of 5 years.
- OFW was not previously granted an SSS housing loan.
- Has not been granted a final SSS benefits.
- OFW borrower and spouse is updated in the payment of their SSS loan(s), if any
The housing loan applied for will be approved after meticulous screening and if the purpose is:
- construction of a new house or dwelling unit on a lot owned by the applicant free from lien/encumbrances
- purchase of a lot and construction thereon of a new house or dwelling unit
- purchase on existing residential unit which may be a house and lot, a condominium unit or a townhouse.
Upon completion of the needed documents, an OFW may file the housing loan application at the nearest SSS cluster branch or at the Housing and Business Loan Department, 5th Floor, SSS Bldg., East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.