“Be a Pag-IBIG member and secure a bright future for yourself. Your savings with the Fund earn double and even triple. These savings are guaranteed by the government and earn tax-free dividends. More importantly, as a member you have access to benefits no banks can give such as the lowest interest housing loans, fast salary loans and reliable calamity loans. ”
This was the statement of Jaime A. Fabiaña, chief executive officer of the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, in his meeting with representatives of Filipino communities in Hong Kong Sunday.
Fabiana met with Hong Kong-based Filipinos to inform them that with the passage of Republic Act No. 9679 (also known as the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009), signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 21 July 2009, “Pag-IBIG is now opening its doors to all types of Filipino workers, both from the formal and informal sectors, in the country or overseas”.
Under the universal membership coverage which takes effect beginning January this year, the following are mandatorily covered by the Fund: all employees who are compulsorily covered by the SSS; all employees who are subject to mandatory coverage by the GSIS; uniformed members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Philippine National Police, Overseas Filipino Workers, and Filipinos employed by foreign-based employers, whether deployed in the country or abroad.
Membership of OFWs used to be voluntary under the old Pag-IBIG Overseas Program, with terms of five, 10, 15, and 20 years.
With the mandatory coverage, OFWs can enjoy the various benefits of being a member which include:
Savings. Members’ contributions are credited to their savings or the total accumulated value that earn dividends and fully guaranteed by the national government. In 2009,
Pag-IBIG declared tax-free dividends amounting to P8.5 billion with a dividend rate of 5%.
“At this dividend rate, an OFW member will generate savings amounting to P40,753 if he contributes P100 monthly for 20 years; P81,507 if he contributes P200; and P203,768 at P500 a month. The bigger the contribution, the bigger the savings,” Fabiana explained.
He assured that Pag-IBIG savings are portable, meaning, “these remain in the name of a member even if he transfers employers, works abroad or becomes self-employed or even unemployed”.
Short Term Loans. OFW-members can also avail of short-term loans that will help address their immediate financial needs such as payment for tuition fees, hospital bills, appliance purchases, minor home repairs, and even for small business capital.
Housing Loan. A member of good standing is eligible to avail of a home financing loan that has an interest rate of as low as 6% to 11.5% payable in 30 years. The maximum loan amount is P3 million. The loan can be used for the purchase of a fully developed lot within a residential area not exceeding 1,000 sq.m., purchase of a residential house and lot, townhouse or condominium unit, construction or completion of a residential unit on a lot owned by the member, home improvement and refinancing of an existing loan.
Fabiana said that in 2009, Pag-IBIG extended a total of P9.6 billion in housing loans to their OFW members which financed 12,233 housing units. “No other financial institution, government or private, has extended this much for OFWs’ housing,” he stressed.
He attributed the 68% increase in housing loan availment of OFWs in 2009 to the housing reforms initiated by Pag-IBIG’s Board Chairman Vice President Noli “Kabayan” De Castro, primarily the low interest rates and long repayment period, which makes it the most affordable home lending program in the country today.
To register for membership and for other inquiries, OFWs can call 724.4244 or visit the Pag-IBIG office located at the 6F, Justine Building, Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City (beside Land Bank). They can also register through the Pag-IBIG satellite offices at the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) or coordinate with the Pag-IBIG information officers who conduct the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar for OFWs. (end)