Bigger Pag-IBIG Loan

Starting this month, members of Pag-IBIG or Home Development Mutual Fund can borrow as much as P6 million, double the previous loanable amount.

Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Darlene Marie B. Berberabe said last Friday the new loan policy was approved just last week, although Vice President and concurrent Pag-IBIG Chairman Jejomar C. Binay had revealed such development as early as March.

Pag-IBIG raised the maximum amount to P3 million from P2 million in 2009 amid rising demand for loans both from middle-income earners and real estate developers.

The Vice President said the new policies were drafted in the hope that more members would get a chance to realize their dream of owning a house.

Pag-IBIG has over 10.2 million members who are mostly middle-income workers. Of that total, 1.5 million are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

Last year, Pag-IBIG posted a gross income of P24.8 billion in 2011, its biggest in 31 years according to Berberabe.

Aside from the usual housing loans, Pag-IBIG members can also avail of short-term multipurpose loan for education, livelihood, home improvement and health and wellness.

Berberabe calls the multipurpose financing an "anti-depression loan" because a member can use it to go on vacation, join a gym, or shop as a way of relieving stress from work.

Inquiries about the "anti-depression loan" have flooded the agency's Facebook page from members who are curious on how they could avail of the service.

Berberabe said this is part of efforts to make Pag-IBIG loans more specific to encourage more members to avail of the fund's services.

"Perhaps by taking a vacation, our members could improve their outlook in life and become more productive workers," she said.

Members who have contributed with Pag-IBIG for more than 10 years can avail of a loan which is 80 percent of their total contribution; 70 percent for members from five to 10 years; and 60 percent for those who have contributed in less than five years. This comes with an interest rate of 10.75 percent a year.

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