What is SSS Unemployment Benefit?

Millions of Filipinos, including OFWs, were heavily affected caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of having a quiet life overseas that allows you to send sufficient amount of money to your family back home, you have no choice but to go back and look for ways on how to earn.

The government, through DOLE, were able to provide P10,000 financial assistance to repatriated OFWs. According to the DOLE website, the agency received more than 617,000 applications and were able to approve 280,253 requests so far (1). Although the government aims to accommodate all applications, there will always be a limitation on budget.

Then, there’s SSS Unemployment Benefits.

What is SSS Unemployment Benefit?

Also known as Unemployment Insurance or Involuntary Separation Benefit, this program is a cash benefit granted to employees who were involuntarily separated from work. Involuntary separation from work includes retrenchment, downsizing, closure or cessation of operations, redundancy, or installation of labor-saving devices among others.

If qualified, the SSS member can get twice the half of average monthly salary credit or ASMC.

Employees who may be covered by this cash benefit are:

  • Employees employed in the Philippines
  • kasambahay or househelp
  • Overseas Filipino Workers, both land-based and sea-based

What are the qualifications:

  • Employee must not be above 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation
  • If the employee is an underground or surface mineworker, s/he must not be above 50 years old
  • If the employee is a racehorse jockey, s/he must not be more than 55 years old
  • Employee paid at least 36 monthly contribution, 12 of which must be within the 18-month period before the month of involuntary separation
  • Employee must not be dismissed due to serious misconduct, commission of a crime, gross and habitual neglect of duties, fraud, and other reasons that will justify the termination of employment
  • Employee did not receive any unemployment benefit for the last three years from the time the termination was severed.

How To Apply For SSS Unemployment Insurance

There are two ways on how you can apply: online application or personal appearance.

Here’s how you can apply online, which is the recommended option to minimize contact:

  1. Log-in to My.SSS account. You can access the website here.
  2. Click E-Services tab.
  3. Choose Apply for Unemployment Benefit Claim.
  4. Fill in the online form. Make sure to provide complete and truthful information.
  5. After carefully reading the certification, click Submit.
  6. Check your email. SSS will send an email requiring you to submit documents such as POLO Certification and Notice of Termination from employer or notarized Affidavit of Termination from Employment, whichever is applicable.

If you prefer personal appearance, then here’s how you can apply at SSS branch near you:

  1. Fill out DOLE Certification. You can get this from POLO where the employer is operating or DOLE Provincial or Field office nearest to you.
  2. Make sure you have the following requirements for submission – Notice of Termination from employer or Affidavit of Termination from Employment, UMID-ATM card, UBP bank card or bank statement showing your name, savings account number, bank branch, and address.
  3. Prepare any valid government-issued ID such as passport, SSS card, Seafarer’s ID and Record Book, UMID card, NBI Clearance, Postal ID, and Driver’s License among others. In case you don’t have any of these IDs mentioned, you can present the original and photocopy of two IDs or documents with picture and signature.
  4. Submit the mentioned documents to the SSS Unemployment Benefits officer-in-charge.

Things To Remember:

Keep in mind that the benefits will be deposited to your SSS UMID card or UMID-ATM card. It can also be deposited in the member’s UBP Quick Card Account. In case you don’t have this, you can apply for an initial UMID-ATM since this is where SSS will credit the unemployment benefits.

In the meantime, you can opt for non-bank cash pick-up or PESONet bank transfer.

Make sure to claim for this benefit within one year from involuntary separation. Otherwise, you will forfeit your claim for unemployment insurance.

How many times can you claim this benefit? Apparently, you can apply once every three years for unemployment insurance. Take advantage of this now since the amount could be helpful to sustain you and your family.

You can check out this brochure for more info about SSS Unemployment Insurance.


(1) https://www.dole.gov.ph/news/ofw-returnees-top-170k-more-to-benefit-from-akap/

PAG-IBIG Offers Housing Loan Restructuring Program For Borrowers

Being an OFW is a sacrifice. You have to leave your family behind for at least two years to be able to give them a better and more secured life. This includes food on the table, bills being paid, education for your kids, and of course, a house you can call your own.

Buying your own house can be heavy on the budget, which is why many OFWs take advantage of PAG-IBIG’s Housing Loan Program. Compared to the housing loans offered by banks and other financial institutions, PAG-IBIG has lower interest rate for easier repayment scheme.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 happened. This prompted hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to go back home while there are still thousands more who cannot go back for variety of reasons. By going home, this means leaving your work that could greatly affect your cash flow. This could be a cause of concern especially if you have pending loans such as housing loan.

If you coursed your Housing Loan with PAG-IBIG, then there’s good news for you. PAG-IBIG is now offering a more affordable monthly amortization and payment relief through the Home Loan Restructuring Program.

Here’s what you need to know about it:

What is the Special Housing Loan Restructuring Program?

This program is offered by PAG-IBIG to all its Housing Loan borrowers who were greatly affected by the pandemic. Through the restructuring program, borrowers can enjoy:

  • Extended loan term
  • Lower monthly interest rate
  • Delayed payment for the principal loan amount, which can be paid towards the end of the loan term
  • Waiver of penalty charges imposed on unpaid monthly amortization
  • Payment relief, which means borrower can opt to start paying the loan anytime between December 2020 and March 2021

Through this program, borrowers will have a lower risk of losing the house.

In case you’re interested of buying a property from any PAG-IBIG Fund acquired asset, you can also apply under the Restructuring Fund.

Features Of Special Housing Loan Restructuring Program

  • Unpaid amortizations will be carried over and made part of the restructured loan
  • Interest rate of 6.375 percent per annum for three years
  • Loan term of up to 30 years, as long as the principal borrower does not reach the age of 70 by the time the loan matures
  • No documentary requirements needed for submission
  • No processing fee
  • No downpayment
  • The program comes with Mortgage/Sales Redemption Insurance and Non-Life Insurance, which serves as a guarantee of payment in case something happens to the principal borrower. Take note that the borrower must pay an equivalent of one year premium within 30 days from the time the loan application is approved.
  • Can be applied to more than one PAG-IBIG Housing Loans

Who can apply?

The Special Housing Loan Restructuring Program is open to all PAG-IBIG Housing Loan borrowers with unpaid monthly amortizations of up to 12 months by August 2020. This means if you were not able to pay the monthly amortization for 13 months and above, then you cannot qualify for this service.

Also, borrowers with cancelled PAG-IBIG Housing Loan or the property was already foreclosed or a subject of litigation cannot apply for this program.

How To Apply

To apply for this program, you can visit the Virtual PAG-IBIG website, which you can also access here. For OFWs, you can access the website here. The online process will be safer, faster, easier, and more secured.

After filling out the necessary information, you will receive a Reference Number, which serves as proof that the agency received your loan application. Keep this since you can use this to check the status of your loan application.

If approved, you will receive a text or email message saying that your loan application is approved. Make sure that your email address and mobile message are active.

What happens if your application is denied?

Don’t worry. PAG-IBIG offers the following programs to help their borrowers settle unpaid amortizations, update their status, and reduce the risk of losing their home:

  • Regular Housing Loan Restructuring Program
  • Non-Performing Asset Resolution Program
  • Plan of Payment

Make sure to avail of this program to enjoy payment relief offered by the agency. As per website, PAG-IBIG will accept applications until December 15 only.

What Happens To Debt After Principal Borrower’s Death?

Death is inevitable. This means no matter what happens, regardless of the cause, we will all die eventually. This is why before that day comes, one must be able to prepare for it to avoid conflict among family members.

One of the most common questions asked is what will happen to debts in case the principal borrower dies. Upon death, does this mean the debt will be inherited by his or her heirs? Are the heirs obligated to pay off the principal’s loan?

Here’s what we know:

Debts Will Stay – Until Paid

According to Article 774 of the Civil Code of the Philippines,

“Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights, and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law.”

Consequently, Article 776 of the same law states that,

“the inheritance includes all the property rights and obligations of a person which are not extinguished by his death.”

What does this mean?

Death does not extinguish any debts or loan obligations. Unfortunately, it will remain until it is paid by the estate. Because of the rules on succession, both assets and liabilities will be passed on accordingly.

What happens to debts?

Don’t worry. When the principal borrower died, individuals or entities like banks and lending companies will NOT go after the heirs. This means the lender cannot harass any member of the family to pay off the loan obligation. The lender cannot also file a case against any family members to pay the debts.

Instead, any outstanding debt will be put against the estate, which includes assets the principal borrower owns and rightfully his up to the time of death. The lender must file a claim against the borrower’s estate that s/he owes them x amount in order to get paid.

According to Philippine laws, debts must be paid first before any assets can be distributed to the heirs. Don’t worry about the family home because the law, particularly the Family Code, Rules of Court, and Commonwealth Act No. 141 protects it against any claims as a result of unpaid debt.

What about debts with a co-maker or guarantor?

First, let’s define a co-maker. According to the BSP, co-maker is a person that promises to pay the principal borrower’s loan in case the latter is unable to do so. The amount depends on what is written in the loan contract.

There are possible scenarios:

  • If the loan contract explicitly states that the principal and co-maker are “jointly and solidarily liable” to the loan, then that means the co-maker is liable for the entire debt and the lender can go after him or her.
  • If there is a specific amount or percentage written in the loan contract, say the co-maker is liable only for 20 percent of the amount, then the co-maker can only be asked to pay up to 20 percent and the rest will be charged to the estate of the principal borrower.
  • If there is no specific provision in the loan contract, then the co-maker is only liable for half of the outstanding debt.

Regardless of the scenarios, the unpaid debts will be assumed by the co-maker, depending on what is written in the contract.

The rules are different for guarantors. Guarantor is defined as a person or organization that guarantees the loan using his or her own financial status. The guarantor’s assets will serve as a collateral and in case of death, s/he will pay off the loan first on behalf of the deceased borrower.

Thereafter, the guarantor can run after the principal borrower’s estate and demand reimbursement. S/he must make a claim as well to be able to collect from the estate.

What can you do as a principal borrower?

Surely, you don’t want to burden anyone with debt. Even if unpaid loans will not be directly charged to your living family members, it could still cause stress and anxiety on them. You don’t want them to go through court proceedings, right?

Here are tips to remember before you apply for a loan:

  • Borrow with a purpose. Don’t just borrow money for the sake of borrowing or buying material things.
  • Set aside monthly payments for the loan. This way, whatever happens, there is a dedicated fund that will pay off the debt.
  • Make timely payments. You won’t be able to incur additional expenses, too.
  • Prioritize loan payment, especially if you have additional funds.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to burden your family. Spend your money wisely and borrow responsibly.

Why It’s Okay To Consider Home Loan Refinancing

One of the main reasons why you wanted to work overseas is to be able to provide a better life, standard of living, and future for your family. This includes buying a house that you can call your own home.

Still, the reality is buying a house includes at least a million and you cannot easily shell out the amount. What you do is to apply for a Home Loan through PAG-IBIG or your preferred bank to help finance the purchase of your home.

Unfortunately, pandemic hit the entire world and your job overseas is affected. You’re also worried that you might lose the house you built for your family. Still, you have no choice but to pay since this is borrowed money after all.

How can you save the house you built? Consider home loan refinancing.

What is home loan refinancing?

Refinancing of home loan is the process of paying an existing mortgage using proceeds of a new loan from a different lender. Compared to the old home loan, the new one has lower interest rate and better terms since the purpose of this facility is to help borrowers become more able to pay off the home loan.

Why should you opt for home loan refinancing?

You can get lower interest rate.

Home loan refinancing is all about timing. Because of the pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reduced the interest rate to 2.25 percent, the lowest policy interest rate in the history, by far (1). This is to help reduce the impact brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic by making repayment easier.

What is the effect on your home loan interest rate?

Low policy rate means mortgage rates are low as well, which all lenders must strictly adhere to. Your monthly repayment will be lower, too, because the interest rate is decreased by at least one to two percent. This allows you to have additional savings, which you can use for other equally important obligations.

You want to change your loan repayment term.

Longer loan term is not always recommended because you’ll end up paying more because of the interest. On the other hand, short loan term is not ideal, too, because monthly repayment is higher and heavier on the pocket.

When you refinance your home loan, you can negotiate about how long you plan to pay it off. The good thing about this is that whether you choose short or long loan term, you are still able to save because of the lowered interest rates.

You want lower monthly payments.

Think about this: your current home loan lets you pay P10,000 every month. Because you opted for home loan refinancing, you can enjoy a lower interest rate, thereby reducing your monthly amortization to P8,000.

That P2,000 can be considered as savings or an additional fund to pay off other expenses like monthly utility bills.

You want to consolidate your existing loans.

Let’s say you also have other loans like personal loan or auto loan. Did you know that you can consolidate these together with your home loan into one loan?

Typically, personal loan and credit cards have higher interest rates. When you consolidate it with your home loan, you can enjoy lower rates, which means you will be able to reduce the amount of money that goes into loan payment.

The best part is you only have to worry about one loan. There’s no more excuse for missed or delayed payments just because “you forgot.”

Scout for lenders that offer home loan refinancing. Explore the features since every lender have different offers. Find an offer that you can greatly benefit from. You will be able to save more money, which you can re-allocate for savings, payment of utility bills, or fund for your new online business. More importantly, you won’t lose your home that you built for your family.


(1) https://www.cnn.ph/business/2020/10/1/BSP-policy-rate-decision-October-2020.html

7 Online Business Ideas You Can Try While Waiting For Deployment

It’s not easy to stay in the country, especially when you know that there are bigger and better opportunities overseas. You have mouths to feed and you need to ensure that your family will have a better future; hence you seek greener pastures.

Because of the pandemic, you have no choice but to either go back home or wait for the lifting of travel restrictions so you can apply overseas again. Unfortunately, bills won’t stop coming and your kids need gadgets as they go to their online classes. Your emergency fund is slowly depleting because of the never-ending expenses.

At this point, you decided to venture into online business to earn extra. Even with limited funds, you can still do these business ideas, some perfect for the coming Christmas:

Covid-19 Essential Items

Because of the pandemic, there is a sudden demand for face masks and face shield. Alcohol and other disinfectants are also among the most sought after products. These are now considered as essential items and whatever happens, people will buy these products because they are needed.

Find a supplier with a friendly, reasonable rate and then sell the items online. Your prices must also be within the SRP otherwise, people won’t buy from you. Consider selling items in bundle, say face mask plus face shield, or give free delivery to attract customers. Once you build your customer base, you can start adding other products.

Homecooked Meals

This is among the popular businesses today. Despite the presence of many food sellers, selling homecooked can still be a good business for the simplest reason: who doesn’t eat?

If you have a dish that you can be proud of, then go ahead and offer it. The good thing about this business is that you don’t need to shell out a huge amount of capital. Simply buy the ingredients and containers and you can start selling your famous dishes.

Baked Sweets And Goodies

If cooking is not your thing, then try baking instead. A lot of people can’t say no to a box of chocolate chip cookies or brownies. Everyone needs a bag of pandesal, too.

You can follow the mainstream but if you want to stand out, then try coming up with new food combinations. This will make it easier for you to break into the market.

Make Your Own Beverages

Have you noticed the sudden rise in coffee sellers? You probably saw on Facebook a lot of people selling handcrafted beverages, too. There are even some who focus on cocktails, which can also be a potential for business.

Coffee, milk tea, fruit juices, or even as simple as samalamig, selling drinks can be a good business because who doesn’t need it, right?

Sell Your Preloved Items

For sure, you got tons of items bought when you were still working overseas. You might have unused clothes, shoes, or even items like watch and perfume lying around the house. Why not sell these items and make money out of it.

You can also sell preloved items. Just make sure these items are in very good condition so you can make a good deal out of it.

Become A Reseller

Being a reseller is one of the easiest things you can do if you want to venture into online selling. There are many things you can sell such as food, skincare products, clothes, books, and the list is endless. The good thing about this business is that you don’t have to make a particular product. In case stocks are running out, you simply have to order again from your supplier.

Still, don’t take lightly. Even if it’s not yours, per se, you are responsible for the brand/s you are carrying.

Courier Service

Companies like Grab and Lalamove are on the rise these days because many people are resorting to online shopping. If you have a motorcycle, then maximize it and offer courier services.

Some startup companies prefer in-house delivery service so if you’re up for it, then offer your services. Or advertise this service on your social media accounts. Just make sure to follow health protocols so you won’t get Covid-19.

Earning additional income these days will help a lot in augmenting financial difficulties. Keep in mind that online selling will not be easy. You need to set yourself apart from the other sellers to make your business stand out.

There is no perfect formula but it helps if you will offer unique products, sell items with reasonable prices, immediately respond to customers, and be respectful. Who knows, it might be a stepping stone to something bigger.

POEA Guidelines On Deployment And Repatriation Of Filipino Seafarers

Overseas Filipino Workers are heavily affected because of the pandemic. According to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, more than 174,000 OFWs were repatriated since the start of the pandemic (1).

However, repatriation is easier for land-based workers since their location can be identified easily. What about seafarers?

Unfortunately, it is more challenging for seafarers to be repatriated by the government. An estimated 300,000 migrant seafarers around the world were unable to disembark and forced to stay in the shipping vessel due to restrictions (2). In the Philippines, about 80,000 Filipino seamen are stranded at sea and have lapsed contracts, although the government is doing the best it can to bring them home (3). Nonetheless, job openings keep on coming and there are still thousands who are considering getting a job at sea.

In line with this, the government, through the POEA, released Governing Board Resolution No. 13, which serves as a guide on the deployment and repatriation of Filipino seafarers.

Here’s what you need to know:

When the seafarer cannot be deployed due to Covid-19 –

Let’s say you already have a signed Employment Contract and all your documentation requirements are complete. You are also scheduled to leave on a certain date – until Covid-19 happened.

Due to travel restrictions that resulted to flight cancellations and regulations issued either by the Philippine government or your country destination, you cannot be deployed.

In that case, the seafarer shall be provided food and accommodation at the principal or employer’s cost. This will be until the seafarer is deployed OR the contract was cancelled.

When the seafarer was deployed BUT become stranded during transit –

You were finally allowed to leave the country. On your way to the country destination, you were stranded because of Covid-19 related reasons. You can’t even go home due to flight limitations.

If you were stranded during transit, then you will also have the right to paid basic pay, accommodation, food, and medical benefits at the cost of the principal or employer. This is until the seafarer is able to join the vessel.

If the seafarer’s service was terminated for a just cause but not related to Covid-19 –

If the seafarer is stranded and cannot go back home because of the pandemic, then the employer shall provide food, accommodation, and medical benefits at their cost until the seafarer can go back to the Philippines.

The employer or principal can recover the costs in accordance with the Employment Contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement.

In case of repatriation –

When a seafarer is bound for repatriation due to reasons related to Covid-19, then s/he is entitled to paid basic pay, accommodation, food, and medical benefits at the expense of the principal or employer. This is until the seafarer is repatriated and able to come home in accordance to Philippine protocols on OFW repatriation.

OFWs may avail of the Balik Probinsiya program so you can go back to your province. In the meantime and while in the quarantine facility, seafarers shall be provided food and accommodation at principal or employer’s expenses, unless otherwise provided by the government.

In case the seafarer cannot be repatriated

There are several situations to consider:

  • If the seafarer cannot join the ship and currently in a quarantine facility shouldered by the principal or employer, then paid basic pay as well as benefits such as food and medical must be given until the seafarer either joins the ship or goes back to the Philippines.
  • If the seafarer completed his period of contractual service and his/her replacement is already on board, then s/he must be paid basic pay and afforded food, accommodation, and medical benefits by the employer or principal until s/he gets back home.
  • If the seafarer is still ashore despite the end of employment contract, then same benefits mentioned previously must be given.

Take note that these guidelines are in effect until March 15, 2022. It may be lifted or extended, depending on the situation. Nonetheless, let us all hope and pray for better days ahead.


(1) https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/01/174000-ofws-repatriated-since-april-lorenzana/ .

(2) https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-09-08/philippine-fishermen-stranded-at-sea-by-the-pandemic-we-think-about-jumping-overboard

(3) https://www.marineinsight.com/shipping-news/coronavirus-80000-filipino-seafarers-with-lapsed-contracts-stranded-at-sea/

Study Now, Pay Later: Where To Get A Student Loan

Covid-19 affected many things, including one’s financial state. Since you’re back in the Philippines, you might find it challenging to look for other sources of income. Unfortunately, lack of funds isn’t limited to lack of cash for groceries or payment of bills. This could also adversely affect your kids’ tuition fee.

Because of the pandemic and the sudden shift to online classes, you have no choice but to also spend on laptop or tablet, upgrade your Internet connection, and dedicate a space for your kids’ learning, which also means additional expenses.

The thing is at the end of the day, education is important. In case you are short in funds, student loan is something you can consider.

Here are some educational assistance programs you can look into to finance your child’s education:

CHED’s Unified Student Financial Assistance System For Tertiary Education

Also known as UniFAST, the CHED Student Loan Program is open to all Filipinos who are undergraduate, graduate, medicine, and law students enrolled in public or private schools or universities. You can also borrow up to P60,000 per academic year, payable for one year.

Interest rate is zero percent IF the loan is paid before the semester ends. Otherwise, six percent interest will be imposed.

As of this writing, CHED Student Loan Program offers the lowest student loan in the country. To apply, make sure you submit the following documents:

  • Three copies of accomplished Application Form. You can access it here.
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s Certificate of School Registration
  • Photocopy of applicant’s school ID
  • Income Tax Return, payslip, Certificate of Employment, audited financial statements, or other proof of income of the applicant or applicant’s parents
  • Co-maker’s ITR, other proof of income, and government-issued ID
  • Two 1×1 photo of both the applicant and co-maker

Once you have all the documents prepared, submit the requirements to the office in charge of student loan applications in your child’s school. Thereafter, the school will forward the application to CHED.

If approved, then you will also be asked to open an account with the Development Bank of the Philippines since this is where the proceeds will be credited.

You can also learn more about the program here.

SSS Educational Assistance Loan Program

Known as EDUC-ASSIST, this student loan program is open to all SSS members below 60 years old, with monthly income of P25,000 or below, and with at least 36 posted SSS contributions, with six of which must be posted within the last 12 months.

You can borrow up to P20,000 per semester and payable up to five years for four- or five-year course OR up to P10,000 per semester and payable up to three years for two-year or vocational courses.

Interest is six percent per year. Take note that there is also a maintenance charge of two percent and penalty of one percent per month in case of late payment.

Below are the requirements:

  • Accomplished application form. You can access it here.
  • Valid ID
  • Assessment or Billing Statement from the applicant’s school
  • Proof of relationship to the applicant such as birth or baptismal certificate
  • Proof of monthly income such as latest payslip, Certificate of Employment, ITR, or notarized Affidavit of Source and Amount of Monthly Income
  • In case you cannot provide proof, you can issue a notarized Affidavit of No Income

You can submit the requirements to SSS branch near you. Make sure to present the original and photocopies of the mentioned documents. If approved, then you can claim the check from the Administrative Section of the SSS branch where you applied.

Unfortunately, this educational assistance program is only limited to one beneficiary. Also, online application is not yet available, which means you have to personally submit the application.

PAG-IBIG Multi-Purpose Loan

The agency’s Multi-Purpose Loan can be used for variety of needs, including payment for tuition fee and other school expenses. So if you are an active PAG-IBIG member with at least 24 months contribution, then you can apply for a multi-purpose loan to cover school expenses of your kids.

You can borrow up to 80 percent of PAG-IBIG regular savings with 10.5 percent interest per year. The loan is payable for up to 24 months with two-month grace period.

You can learn more about PAG-IBIG’s Multi-Purpose Loan here.

LandBank I-Study Program

If you need bigger amount for your children’s education, then Landbank can help. Through the I-Study Program, parents who are struggling in sending their children due to the pandemic can still do so to ensure education.

The bank’s I-Study Program allows you to borrow up to P300,000 with five percent per year interest. You can pay the loan in one year in case of short-term loan but for longer term loan, the amount plus interest is payable up to three years with one year grace period for the principal.

Other charges include loan processing fee, Documentary Stamp Tax of P1.50 for every P200, and penalty charges in case of late payment.

The good thing about this educational loan is that it covers all levels and not restricted to kids who are in college. In case you’re interested, you must prepare the following documents:

  • Accomplished loan application form
  • Valid ID of the borrower
  • Proof of income such as Certificate of Employment, pay slip for the last three months, and ITR
  • Proof of billing address from at least two utility companies
  • Enrollment or registration form from the school of the beneficiary
  • Form 138 or Certified True Copy for the previous semester or quarter
  • Certificate of Good Moral Character from the school
  • Schedule of payment of school fees and other expenses related to enrollment for each semester or the entire year

To apply, simply visit any Landbank branch near you. Make sure to bring all documents for verification. If approved, then you will be required to open a deposit account from Landbank for disbursement of funds. You can also check this link for more details.

There are still several banks and private institutions that offer student loans but so far, the ones enumerated here have the most affordable rates. Check them out and see which one suits best for your child’s needs. Don’t hesitate to ask for sample computations. More importantly, prepare all documents and make sure that you have a copy of the originals.

Although it may not seem a lot, the amount you can get can be helpful in getting your kids back to school.

14 Simple But Creative Ways To Save Cash During Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic taught us many things – the importance of having an Emergency Fund or savings, learning how to value non-material things, how to be resilient, and the list goes on. Aside from these, the pandemic taught us how to adjust our lifestyle to be able to save more, especially now that there is a halt in overseas work.

The truth is there are tons of ways on how we can save cash during challenging times like this. In case you are looking for ideas on how to do it, then let this list guide you.

Creative And Effective Ways To Save Cash

  1. Set a budget – for everything. This is a must. Pandemic or not, having a budget is important because it helps you keep track of how much money goes in and out every month. This will also give you an idea on what expenses you can get rid of for extra cash.
  2. Grow your own food. Having your own fruits and vegetables backyard will help you in saving money instead of buying them from the market or grocery. Herbs are popular nowadays, but you can also plant calamansi, pechay, ampalaya, and other veggies in your own home.
  3. Unplug. Did you know that standby appliances could still consume electricity by as much as 10 percent? This could be added to your total electric consumption, which also means higher bill. Therefore, unplug unused appliances since it also promotes electrical safety and prevents the possibility of fire.
  4. Go for energy-efficient appliances. Even if they are in use, consumption cost will be lower, which means you get to save from electricity, too.
  5. Be mindful of your water consumption. Turn of faucet when not in use, use a glass when brushing teeth, use a pail when washing your car or watering the plants, and check for any leaks. Simple steps could go a long way when you save water. This will help reduce your water bill as well.
  6. Reduce alcohol intake. Yes, we all need to unwind but drinking alcohol could eat up a chunk from the income. Limit, if not get rid of it to be able to save more.
  7. Take advantage of sales and deals. 10.10, 11.11 – these are dates many are looking forward to because of sale and great deals online. If you NEED to buy something, then take advantage of these sales and promos so you could save more. P20 savings or free shipping fee are still savings.
  8. Let the light in. Opening your windows and letting the sun in is a good way to keep your home well-lighted. Take advantage of it since it saves electricity, too.
  9. Easy on takeouts. Cooking can be a tedious task but think about this: you get to save more. As much as possible, reduce your food deliveries.
  10. Always stick to essentials when doing the grocery. It’s tempting to buy the food you see in the supermarket, but do you really need it? As much as possible, stick to essentials. This is where you will appreciate growing your own food because you can skip certain items since you have them on your backyard. This means more savings, too.
  11. Cancel subscriptions you don’t need. Who doesn’t want entertainment? After all, we all need something to distract us from the negativity in the outside world. Still, if this form of entertainment is charging you with an amount that doesn’t suit your daily needs, then it might be best to cancel that subscription. There are many ways to keep yourself busy without breaking the wallet. But if you really need that streaming, then at least consider sharing. This way, you only get to pay half of the price.
  12. Make your own coffee. Who needs P180-worth of coffee anyway?
  13. Keep your bills. Doesn’t it feel good when you see P500 in the drawer that you accidentally forgot? If you have extra bills, then consider “hiding” them. This could come in handy during emergency.
  14. Don’t forget the coins. Surely, you have lots of coins lying around the house. Put them in a coin bank and use it. You might be surprised to find out that the coins lying around is worth a lot.

These are just simple adjustments but could benefit you in the long run. At this point, we need to think of ways to maximize and stretch the money we have, and these tips could help us become more mindful and careful with our spending. This could lead to bigger savings, too.

Know Your Rights As A Tenant, Especially In This Time Of Pandemic

One of the reasons why you decided to work overseas is because you want to have your own home. This is also the reason why you are taking multiple jobs while overseas to make sure that you can send money back home and save a few more for your future dream home.

If you haven’t fulfilled that yet, then that’s fine. Renting your own place could be an alternative – for now. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced you to go back home and wait for travel restrictions to ease to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

Since you lost your main source of income, which also means there will be difficulty in paying the rent, the question now is this: can your landlord evict you from the place you and your family are staying?

What are your rights as a tenant?

As a tenant, your rights are protected under the Rent Control Act of 2009. Some of your rights include:

  • Limit On Rent Increase – Although landlords can impose an increase in rent every year, there is a limitation as to how much the increase can be. Rent increase should be anywhere between two and 11 percent and must only be imposed once a year.
  • No To Excessive Deposit And Advance – Under the said law, landlord can collect not more than two months deposit and one month advance rent or a total of three months. This security deposit must be kept under the landlord’s account and will be returned to the tenant upon expiration of contract. Take note that these deposits and advance may be used by the landlord to compensate for losses such as failure to pay rental fee, unpaid utility bills, and/or damage to the property.
  • Eviction Must Be Legal – Eviction is allowed when there is a justifiable reason.

When can a tenant be evicted?

The law allows landlords to evict tenants for the following reasons:

  • Expiration of Lease Contract. At this point, landlord has the option not to renew the tenant, especially those who are unruly and delinquent.
  • Overdue rental payments for at lease three months.
  • Necessary house repairs to ensure that the place is suitable and viable for living. In this case, the evicted tenant is given the priority to rent the place should s/he wishes to.
  • Subleasing the entire or a part of the leased property without the owner’s consent.
  • The owner or landlord will legitimately use the rented property. In this case, landlord must give notice to the tenant at least three months before the expiration of contract.

That being said, what constitutes illegal eviction?

  • If the landlord or owner decided to sell or mortgage the leased property, the new owner has to respect the existing lease contract. More importantly, the new owner cannot evict the tenant unless there is a justifiable reason.
  • Violating the Anti-Covid-19 Discrimination ordinance, particularly in Makati, Quezon City, Manila, Muntinlupa, and Pasig City. Landlord cannot evict the tenant regardless if you are infected or is suspected to have Covid-19. Consequently, healthcare workers cannot be evicted from leased property.
  • Failure to pay the rent during quarantine and grace periods are not grounds for eviction.

In case any of these situations happened, make sure you talk to your landlord first so you could come up with an amicable solution. Otherwise, you can request assistance from the barangay, which has the authority to settle disputes involving landlord and rental rights.

DTI Memorandum Circular 20-12

Under the said circular of the Department of Trade and Industry and pursuant to the Bayanihan Heal as One Act, property owners cannot evict tenants in ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ areas for failure to pay rental fee. There is also a mandatory 30-day grace period for tenants to start paying their rental fee.

The said circular also states that unpaid rents during the quarantine period can be settled in six monthly installments without penalties, interest, additional fees, and other charges.

Further, landlord must inform the tenant regarding the option to pay in installments.

Refusal to comply by the landlord could result to imposition of fine, jail time of two months, or both. As a tenant, you can also inform DTI regarding the illegal eviction practice so that appropriate criminal case can be filed to the landlord.

This is an extraordinary time for everyone, including landlords and tenants. At this point, it is best to keep an open communication with your landlord so you can negotiate and compromise. While you’re struggling to pay the rent, surely, your landlord is also in need of the rental payments to make ends meet.

As what they say, lahat madadaan sa magandang usapan.

Job Opportunity: How To Become A Contact Tracer

Finding a job during this time won’t be easy. Even if you want to work, there is no assurance that a company will hire you, despite your qualifications. Unfortunately, this pandemic affected most business, with many forced to close down to avoid incurring further losses. Until there is a vaccine that could put an end to the Covid-19, it will take time before we can all go back to our normal lives.

What can you do? Putting up your own business while waiting for deployment is a good idea. Apparently, there are many who are already venturing into this and it won’t be long before the market gets saturated.

If you’re looking for a good way to earn extra, then consider becoming a contact tracer.

But first, what is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is the process of identifying, evaluating, following up, and managing individuals that could have been or were exposed to the Covid-19 virus. If conducted effectively, contact tracing could:

  • Interrupt ongoing transmission
  • Lower the risk of spreading the virus
  • Inform and alert individuals who are at risk of getting the infection
  • Offer preventive care or counseling

As of this writing, the government allocated P5-billion for this and are currently open to hiring 50,000 contact tracers. 20,000 will be deployed in Luzon while Visayas and Mindanao will have 15,000 contact tracers each.

What does it mean to be a contact tracer?

According to the World Health Organization, a contact tracer has three main responsibilities:

  • Identification

As a contact tracer, you need to identify the possible individuals that the person with Covid-19 came in contact or interacted with. This includes members of the family, friends, co-workers, and even people in the places s/he went to.

  • Contact Listing

This responsibility covers creation of list of all contacts of the infected person. Consequently, those included in the list will be notified regarding the status of the person with Covid-19 as well as what they can do in case of close contact. Contact tracers must also provide necessary information on how to prevent transmission.

  • Follow Up

Contact tracer must also monitor symptoms and follow up contacts for possible signs of infection.

What do you need to be a contact tracer?

  • Ability to collect data
  • Understands and respects the concept of patient confidentiality
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Can explain Covid-19 clearly and in a manner that is easy to understand
  • Must have ethical and professional conduct
  • Ability to conduct interviews while maintaining patient confidentiality
  • Must be resourceful in collecting, locating, and communicating not just with the infected person but also individuals with possible exposure

Application is open to ALL, although applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Health-related course will be given priority.

Is there a required training before you can become a contact tracer?

As of this writing, TESDA is offering an online course for contact tracer training.

With the help of the Department of Health and other health industry experts, TESDA was able to develop a training program that equips potential tracers with necessary skills needed for the job. The aim is to provide “world class and competent human resources for contact tracing.”

The training program will run for 15 days, which includes both online and face-to-face learning.

You can access the free training here.

How much can you earn?

Contact tracers have a salary grade 9, which means you can earn at least P18,000 every month.

Take note that the job is only temporary. although the agency is pushing for one year employment. Nevertheless, this is a good source of income in the meantime.

Where to Apply

The Department of Interior and Local Government, including its regional offices, are responsible for handling applications of potential contact tracers.

Are you interested? Simply visit the DILG office near you to apply because who knows, you might be qualified.