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Pag-IBIG gets ECOP support in bid to raise savings contribution rates

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The Pag-IBIG Fund has gained the support of the country’s largest group of employers for its plan to increase the monthly contribution rates for both employers and members, the agency’s top executive said Tuesday.

With the support of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Pag-IBIG Fund has now secured backing from both employers and labor groups for its plan to increase its savings rate, which has not been changed for almost 40 years.

“Over the years, Pag-IBIG Fund and ECOP have engaged in productive discourse to help shape responsive policies for the benefit of our stakeholders,” said Pag-IBIG CEO Marilene C. Acosta.

“We appreciate their recognition of the need for us to finally implement our new rates, after having deferred its implementation since 2021, so that we can increase our members’ benefits, address the growing loan demand of our members, maintain the affordability of our home loans, and ensure the sustainability and growth of Pag-IBIG Fund.”

Under Pag-IBIG Fund’s new savings rates, the maximum monthly compensation to be used in computing the required two percent employee savings and two percent employer share of Pag-IBIG Fund members will be increased to P10,000, from the current P5,000.

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As a result, the monthly savings of Pag-IBIG Fund members, for both the employee’s share and the employer’s counterpart, will increase to P200 each from the current P100.

In 2019, agency officials approved the increase of its members’ monthly savings rates after obtaining the concurrence of stakeholders to implement a planned increase in 2021.

During that time, the agency saw the increase necessary as it projected that the amount of loans disbursed will eventually outpace the total collections from both loan payments and members’ savings.

However, recognizing the effects of the pandemic on the economy, requests made by the business community led by ECOP, and the directive of President Marcos early last year to provide workers and employers with relief from the continuing effects of the pandemic, Pag-IBIG Fund deferred the implementation of the new rates in years 2021, 2022 and 2023.

“For three consecutive years, Pag-IBIG Fund heeded our request to postpone the implementation of their new monthly savings rates in view of the difficulties brought by the pandemic. This time around, after having discussed the need for its implementation, we pose no further objection to their plan to push through with it this year,” said ECOP Honorary Chairman and President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

“Our support is also a reflection of how we have seen Pag-IBIG Fund properly manage the funds that their members entrust to them. We also understand that the increase in Pag-IBIG’s savings rates means added benefit for their members, as this equates to an increase in their forced savings,” Ortiz- Luis added.

ECOP is one of the largest organizations representing employers in the Philippines. It serves as the umbrella organization for the country’s business community on important national issues on employment, industrial relations, labor issues and related social policies.

Meanwhile, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development said the P12-billion credit line approved by the Pag-IBIG Fund for the National Housing Authority will bolster the momentum of President Marcos’ Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino (4PH) Program now being rolled out nationwide.

Human Settlements Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar lauded the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund for its commitment to support 4PH.

Pag-IBIG Fund has approved back-to-back funding for two key shelter agencies – the Social Housing Finance Corp. and the NHA – to fund housing projects under the Pambansang Pabahay.

“Pag-IBIG’s dedication is a huge boost to bringing the Pambansang Pabahay to reality. It continuously opens more doors for Filipino people to own a home that is decent yet affordable in sustainable communities,” the housing czar said.

Pag-IBIG Fund approved the P12-billion revolving credit line for NHA intended to finance the development of 9,110 housing units, with an initial 6,967 homes to be built in Quezon City, Valenzuela, Zamboanga and San Juan as part of the 4PH Program.

Earlier, it approved the P929-million revolving credit line for the SHFC. With this amount, SHFC will be able to finance the construction of a total of 2,264 housing units in Pampanga, Manila, Misamis Oriental and Davao City.

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