Pag-IBIG Fund has granted socialized home loans to 5,074 minimum-wage and low-income members in the first three months of the year despite the continuing pandemic, the agency reported Thursday.
Socialized home loans, which totaled P2.2 billion, made up about 25 percent of the 20,712 total loans financed by the agency in the first quarter of 2021, it said in a statement.
“In the wake of the pandemic, Pag-IBIG Fund’s Affordable Housing Program has become the means for minimum-wage and other low-income workers to achieve their dream of homeownership,” said Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, chairperson of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees.
“The program’s lowest rates and longest term allow them to buy a home within their reach. Offering affordable home financing to our members is our way of adhering to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to government institutions to provide programs that serve the needs of the underserved sector, especially during these challenging times,” he added.
Amid the health crisis, the number of socialized home loans granted grew by a quarter from the 4,045 loans extended during the same period last year, while the amount released increased by 34 percent.
Under the affordable housing program, members can borrow up to P580,000 to buy socialized house and lot packages, or up to P750,000 for socialized condominium units at a special rate of 3 percent per annum.
The AHP is specifically made for members earning not more than P15,000 per month within the National Capital Region, and not more than P12,000 per month for members outside of NCR.
The loan program also features a 100 percent loan-to-value ratio, allowing borrowers to purchase homes without spending for equity.
Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy Moti said the agency has been offering the special 3 percent rate under the AHP since May 2017 and has kept the subsidized rate since, thanks to Pag-IBIG Fund’s tax-exempt status provided under Republic Act No. 9679.
“Because of our Charter, Pag-IBIG Fund can afford to offer the lowest rates for home loans of minimum and low-wage workers. With President Duterte recently signing into law the CREATE bill, the tax-exempt status of Pag-IBIG Fund has been maintained. What this means to our members from the minimum-wage and low-income sectors is that they can continue to enjoy these lowest rates,” Moti said.
“To put things into perspective, with our Affordable Housing Program, qualified borrowers will only pay around P2,445 per month for a home loan worth P580,000 – which is almost equivalent to the price of rent. This low amortization allows more of our members to gain homeownership, as we recognize that the home is the safest place to be during these difficult times. We look forward to helping more low-income members become homeowners in the months to come,” he added.