By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Bagong Henerasyon partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera branded on Sunday, May 10 as “unfair” the decision of the state-owned Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) to require the payment of all loan amortizations due during the quarantine period on or before the next due date after the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The House Deputy Majority Leader called out the Pag-IBIG Fund for declaring in its social media pages that its members with existing loans have to fully pay their unsettled monthly amortizations right after ECQ, saying that it is “in violation” of Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“Nananawagan po tayo sa Pag-IBIG, dapat kayo po ang numero unong nakikisama sa ating mga kababayan. Hindi ninyo pwedeng i-expect na pagbalik sa trabaho bibiglain ninyo na two or three months worth ang babayaran nila,” Herrera said in a statement.
(We are appealing to the Pag-IBIG, you should be the first one that must look after our countrymen. You can’t expect that after they return to work, you require them to pay their two or three months of worth of loan amortization.)
“Hindi po ‘yan makatarungan at hindi po ‘yan naaayon sa batas na ipinasa natin (That is unjust and it is not in accordance with the law we passed),” she added.
Herrera, co-author of RA 11469, reminded the Pag-IBIG Fund officials that under Section 4 (aa) of Republic Act 11469, all lending institutions shall grant a 30-day grace period or extension on loan payments during the ECQ without imposing interest or penalties on borrowers.
She made the reminder after top officials of Pag-IBIG were quoted as saying that all amortizations due must be paid in full on the “first working day” after the ECQ is lifted.
She even noted that Section 4 (aa) of Republic Act 11469 prodded the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to issue Memorandum Circular No. 20-12, Series of 2020, which provides that any payment due during the ECQ will be deferred to at least 30 days after the due date.
Based on the DTI memorandum circular, in case of multiple loan payments due within the ECQ, these payments should be amortized or divided equally across six months after the 30-day grace period and to be paid on top of regular payments.
Herrera said it is about time for the Pag-IBIG Fund to “review the relevant provisions” of RA 11469, and consider the law and the DTI circular, in its policy decision.
“In these trying times, our primary goal must be to ease the burden of our people so that they can focus on overcoming this pandemic and not worry about finances,” she said.
She said the Pag-IBIG Fund should impose automatic three-month moratorium on their loan payments, instead of asking the borrowers to apply for such moratorium.
“If indeed Pag-IBIG Fund sincerely wants to provide relief to its borrowers in this time of crisis, it should make sure that all of them are covered by the moratorium and need not file a request or application with the fund,” Herrera said after Pag-IBIG Fund allowed the borrowers to apply for the moratorium online until June 15.
Under the moratorium, borrowers are allowed to pay only one month loan amortization and insurance premiums during the three-month period, on or before the next due date after June 15.#