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Pag-IBIG Fund eyes delay in P50 contribution hike

The Home Development Mutual Fund said it is considering to postpone its plan to increase the “decades-old” monthly contributions of its members in consideration of the plight of workers and businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Housing czar Eduardo del Rosario has instructed the agency’s management to consult anew stakeholders and discuss the possibility of delaying the January 2021 implementation of the P50-hike for the agency’s decades-old P100 monthly contributions or savings.

“We recognize that a number of our members and several businesses are experiencing financial hardships brought about by Covid-19. We understand their plight and we want to help them in any way we can. That’s why we are studying the possible delay of the PHP50-increase in the members’ monthly savings right now,” Del Rosario, also Pag-IBIG Fund board chairman, said.

“This is our contribution to the efforts of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to alleviate the financial burden of our fellow Filipinos during these challenging times,” he added.

Meanwhile, Acmad Rizaldy Moti, Pag-IBIG Fund chief executive officer, said the board will consult stakeholders in the coming weeks.

“We will be in talks again with labor unions, non-government organizations, and employer groups and we will consider their stand before we proceed. It is important for us to consult them and hear their voices before we decide,” Moti said, following del Rosario’s call.

He added that Pag-IBIG Fund’s “strong financial position” would allow them to consider delaying the increase in their members’ monthly savings.

“At the current monthly savings rate of PHP100, in addition to our housing and short-term loan payment collections, we have more than enough funds to support the home loan needs of our members,” he said.

In November 2019, the Pag-IBIG Fund Board approved the staggering increase of the members’ monthly savings from P100 to P150 by January 2021, and to P200 by January 2023, which also applies to employer’s shares.

“The adjustments in members’ monthly savings were meant to provide the necessary additional funds to sustain the growing demand for housing,” Del Rosario said.

He added that the demand for Pag-IBIG Fund housing loans steadily grew at an average rate of 17.5 percent annually in the last five years.

“We expected then, that raising the monthly savings gradually by P50 will infuse more funds so that Pag-IBIG can continue to offer the lowest rates in the market and help more members acquire homes of their own. But again, the study and consultations were done in 2019,” the PAG-Ibig chief said.

“The continuing pandemic this 2020 has changed all that. So I urged the Pag-IBIG Fund Management to renew consultations with our stakeholders,” he added.