In consideration of the plight of workers and business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pag-IBIG Fund officially announced that it will defer the increase of its members’ monthly contributions which was set to start this January to January 2022.
After consulting with labor and employer’s groups, Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said that they approved the commendation of the Pag-IBIG Fund management to defer the hike in the monthly contributions of its members from P100 to 150 in 2021.
Del Rosario, who heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the 11-member Pag-
IBIG Fund Board of Trustees, said that the the implementation of the hike will be moved by one year or January 2022.
“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,” Del Rosario said.
“After consulting with our stakeholders, we will no longer push through with the increase of the members’ monthly contributions next year,” Del Rosario explained. The deferment also applies to the share of their employers.
In 2019, agency officials approved the increase of its members’ monthly contributions, which had remained unchanged since the 1980s.
Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy Moti said that 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,” Moti said.
However, with the pandemic affecting the country, Moti said that 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,” he said. “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,” he added.
Moti said that while the pandemic dampened demand for home loans early in the year, the 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 availments, signaling that our economy has started to recover.”
So far, Moti noted that the Pag-IBIG Fund has released P44.16 billion in home loans this year, allowing 43,733 members to have their own homes. Last October, he said that a total of P7.7 billion in home loans has been released.
Moti said that the amount was equivalent to the Fund’s pre-pandemic monthly takeout target for October. “We take this as a hopeful sign that we are getting back on track (and) we assure our members that we will continue serving them especially during these difficult times,” he added.