In Focus: The Pag-IBIG Fund

The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), commonly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, was set up 37 years ago in 1978, on June 11, which coincidentally was the day before Philippine Independence Day. It established a way forward for Filipino workers to be able to focus on their own independence by way of paying into an effective, government-run savings scheme aimed at providing housing for themselves as members.

Since then it has instigated a number of schemes all focusing on enabling its members to cover the costs of housing self-ownership. Multi-purpose loans for short term needs, rent-to-own programs, and other arrangements are available to government employees, private employees and OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). Government workers are now automatically part of the Pag-IBIG Fund, as it has become mandatory.

In October of 2006, on World Habitat Day, Pag-IBIG was granted the prestigious Scroll of Honour Award by the UN Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) for “making the dream of affordable housing a reality for hundreds of thousands of households.” This was the first time such an award was ever granted to a Philippine government agency.

The massive growth of condominium buildings has also been incorporated into the programs, aimed at allowing household purchase for workers seeking homes closer to their places of work.

Back in 2001, the Fund floated P2 billion worth of bonds as part of their sheltered financing program, which matured successfully in 2006.

The tax-exempt nature of the fund has enabled dividends to be regularly distributed to its members. The gross income raised between January and July 2015 was P19.2 billion, which was an increase of 9.8% on dividends from the same period of the previous year.

The ‘vision’ is for every Filipino worker to save with the Pag-IBIG Fund to have decent shelter. The ‘mission’ is to provide accessible funds for housing for all members. The underlying ‘values’ of the mission are integrity, excellence, professionalism, and service.

The OFW community is currently an estimated 10 million people strong, and in order to give all these workers full access to Pag-IBIG, the organisation has established an extensive overseas network to grant access to this vital group of members. Representatives are available to OFWs in at least nine countries in the Middle East, in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea within Asia, and Greece, Italy, Spain and England in Europe, as well as in the US.

Needless to say, with the sophisticated developments of modern communication technology and the increasing ease of internet access worldwide the Pag-IBIG website is available worldwide (pagibigfund.gov.ph). The site states: “Pag-IBIG Fund would like to welcome you to our Official Website. We encourage you to spend some time browsing and learning more about us and our services.” Such services include membership programs, relevant forms, housing programs, acquired assets, information for Filipinos working abroad, information on properties for sale, a directory, and careers, all of which can be found at pagibigfundservices.com.

All government workers and private company members within the country are serviced by a comprehensive network of offices. Branches in Luzon, where half of the country’s total population lives, total over 45, while in the Visayas there are over 20, and in Mindanao another 20. Here, members can register, make enquiries, and generally stay in touch.

The Pag-IBIG Fund has developed successfully in leaps and bounds over its 37 years of operations, and today a very popular additional attachment program is definitively the Multi-Purpose Loan Facility. This part of its jigsaw now not only allows cash for funding house repairs, minor home improvements and home enhancements, but also cash for tuition and educational expenses, health and wellness provisions, livelihood programs, and other programs.

The Pag-IBIG Fund has become a foundation on many levels aimed at looking after the working population in a very caring manner. The United Nations were suitably well impressed with the opportunities and programs offered to all national workers at home and abroad, and since the Scroll of Honour Award in 2006 the whole program has improved dramatically and continues to support and benefit the Filipino people.

For more information on the Pag-IBIG Fund, please contact one of our certified payroll geniuses at genius@philpay.ph

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