Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, Chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees said in an interview, that they are following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte which is to provide Filipinos with responsive social benefits and considering the plight of those affected by the strong earthquakes in the province of Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao. “Pag-IBIG Fund has allocated nearly P5 billion in calamity loan funds ready to aid our nearly three hundred thousand active members residing in the region,” said del Rosario.
Covered by the agency’s Calamity Loan Program, eligible members may acquire up to 80% of their total Pag-IBIG Regular Savings, consist of their monthly contributions, employer’s contributions and accumulated dividends earned. Qualified borrowers may avail of the Calamity Loan within 90 days from the declaration of a state of calamity in the respective residential area.
With an interest rate of 5.95% per annum (the lowest rate available in the market), the loan is payable over 24 months. Considering the current situation of the borrowers, the first payment of the loan is deferred, with the initial payment due on the third month after the loan is released.
Del Rosario affirmed that the Pag-IBIG Fund is always ready to assist members recover from the effects of calamities. This year, they have already released P1.02 billion in Calamity Loans to aid 60, 083 members in various areas around the country. Considering the condition of the members affected by the string of earthquakes, del Rosario said they are also in active coordination with the national government and concerned local government units to determine where they would best establish service desks and reach out their services to locations nearer to the affected members.
“We have seen the destruction brought by the strong tremors and even we weren’t spared. Some of our branches in Mindanao, like the ones in Kidapawan and Digos sustained damages. A number of our employees were also affected. But this will not deter us from providing the needed service. We are actively helping our employees there and bringing in supplies and added manpower, so we can help more members living in devastated areas,” he added.
For the last five years, the agency has released P11.04 billion in calamity loans to assist the 803,858 members. Pag-IBIG Fund has maintained its position as one of the single biggest sources of emergency loans in the country.