Exclusive: PAG-IBIG hands out P36B housing loans to OFWs

Written by Jeremaiah Opiniano on . Posted in News Flash

An OFW Journalism Consortium news flash exclusive

MANILA—THE Home Development Mutual Fund or the Pag-IBIG Fund, reported that some P36 billion in total housing loans have been granted to over-40,000 members who are overseas Filipino workers since 2007.

Tessie Gonzales, deputy chief executive officer of Pag-IBIG, told a recent forum on social security for OFWs that in 2011 alone, 26 percent of loans handed out the by fund went to OFWs.

As of August 2011, 1.62 million overseas Filipino workers are members, Gonzales said.

And these OFW members, she added, are beneficiaries of a 4.13 percent dividend. These dividends handed out to the fund’s 10.2 million members in 2011 , writes a Pag-IBIG press release, are worth P8.491 billion, or 71 percent of the HDMF’s 2011 net income.

This dividend is “some eight times more than what interest rates in a regular bank savings deposit can offer,” Gonzales told participants of the forum organized by the Philippine Migrants’ Rights Watch.

As to the country of destination land-based OFWs who are Pag-IBIG members, some 189,770 are from the United Arab Emirates and another 158,562 are from Saudi Arabia. Singapore (118,799) and Hong Kong and Macau (87,354) are the other destinations with many Pag-IBIG members.

There are also some 210,559 seafarers who are Pag-IBIG members.

Within this year, Gonzales said, Pag-IBIG issued a ruling that allows members (including OFWs) to borrow up to P6 million.

In 2010, Pag-IBIG mandated departing overseas workers to become members of the fund, paying P1,200 annually—something that migrant civil society groups protested that year.

“Pag-IBIG serves as a provident fund for OFWs while they are working abroad,” Gonzales said.–OFW Journalism Consortium

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