16.9K low-wage earners benefit from affordable Pag-IBIG program

By Lade Jean Kabagani

February 12, 2021, 1:41 pm

MANILA – The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) last year financed socialized housing loans for 16,975 members belonging to the minimum wage and low-income earners.

Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said Pag-IBIG offered the lowest rate and longest payment term for minimum and low-wage workers under its Affordable Housing loan program.

"Even as the pandemic posed numerous challenges last year, we were still able to provide many of our workers belonging to this sector the means to acquire their own homes, under the most affordable terms," del Rosario, also the chairperson of the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund board of trustees, said in a statement Friday.

The socialized housing loans represented 27 percent of the 63,750 units financed by Pag-IBIG Fund, or PHP7.18 billion out of the total PHP63.75 billion loans released last year.

The Affordable Housing Program offers a subsidized rate of 3 percent per annum for National Capital Region (NCR) members, who are earning not more than PHP15,000 monthly.

Members outside the NCR wishing to avail of socialized housing units but earning just PHP12,000 or less monthly are also offered the same subsidized rate.

The program allows members to borrow up to PHP580,000 to buy socialized houses, or up to PHP750,000 for socialized condominium units, at 3 percent per annum.

The loan program also features a 100-percent loan-to-value ratio allowing borrowers to enjoy the equity-free purchase of housing units.

Republic Act (RA) 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 defines socialized housing as programs and projects “covering houses and lots or lots only undertaken by the government or the private sector for underprivileged and homeless citizens, which shall include sites and services development, long-term financing, liberalized terms on interest payments.”

Acmad Rizaldy Moti, Pag-IBIG Fund chief executive officer, said they are able to keep offering the lowest interest rate in the market because of its tax-exempt status provided under RA 9679 or the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009.

"Pag-IBIG Fund is able to subsidize the low-interest rate that minimum and low-wage workers enjoy under our Affordable Housing Loan Program being a tax-exempt agency, as prescribed under our charter," Moti said. (PNA)