After consulting with labor and employer groups, Pag-IBIG Fund will defer the January 2021 increase of its members’ monthly contributions. This is in consideration of the plight of both workers and business owners during the pandemic, officials said on Friday (Nov. 27).
Secretary Eduardo D. del Rosario, who heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees, said that they approved the recommendation of the Pag-IBIG Fund Management to defer the hike in the monthly contributions of its members – from P100 to P150 in 2021, and move the implementation by one year to January 2022. The deferment also applies to the share of their employers.
“We know that many of our members and employers faced financial challenges in the last few months because of the effects brought about by the pandemic to the economy. After consulting with our stakeholders, we will no longer push through with the increase of the members’ monthly contributions next year. This is in line with the efforts of the administration of President Duterte to alleviate the financial burden of our fellow Filipinos and help businesses recover,” del Rosario said.
In 2019, agency officials approved the increase of its members’ monthly contributions, which had remained unchanged since the 1980s. According to Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti, it was projected at that time that the amount of loans disbursed will eventually outpace the total collections from both loan payments and members’ contributions each year.
“So, we proposed to increase the monthly savings by P50 to have enough funds to answer the growing demand and maintain the low rates of our loans. However, with the pandemic reaching our country, the circumstances have changed. Rest assured, our financial position remains strong and that has allowed us to defer the increase in our monthly contributions by a year. What we are focused on right now is providing our members and businesses the assistance they need to cope with the effects of the pandemic.”
Moti also added that while the pandemic dampened demand for home loans early in the year, availment has been rising steadily since quarantine restrictions were eased.
“While demand has not been what it was in previous years, we are already noticing the increasing number of availment, signaling that our economy has started to recover. So far, we have released P44.16 billion in home loans this year, allowing 43,733 members to have their own homes. For this October alone, we released P7.7B in home loans. This equals our pre-pandemic monthly takeout target for October and we take this as a hopeful sign that we are getting back on track. We assure our members that we will continue serving them especially during these difficult times. While the pandemic could have been used as an excuse not to serve, we at Pag-IBIG Fund used it as a reason to serve our members better. That is the Lingkod Pag-IBIG way,” Moti said.