We --who are blessed enough to live and work abroad-- could help our loved ones back home by either buying for them their dream houses or helping them defray the cost of purchasing affordable houses available in the homeland .
With the hard-earned dollars we have at our disposal, plus the high rate of dollars exchange in the market, perhaps it would only take a few years to pay off their home mortgages .
In short, our dollars’ earning could spell the big difference in their lives.
Helping them to own a home is more than an economic investment, it’s an investment of love—our way of showing them that we do care, always thinking of their welfare even if we are thousands of miles away from home.
We all know the hardship of raising the money to buy a home and if our families would just rely on their meager earnings, it would be a struggle even next to impossibility to own houses.
Today, the Home Development Mutual Fund, popularly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund has been taking the initiatives to set up Pag-IBIG Service Desks worldwide to offer to all Pinoys based abroad—migrant workers, immigrants, permanent residents and former Filipinos – programs to avail themselves its affordable housing loans and the members’ retirement savings plan.
At present, there are 23 service Pag-ibig posts around the world and they are strategically located in countries where most of our kababayans are concentrated.
In a forum held this weekend at the Philippine Consulate in Toronto, Pag-IBIG CEO and President lawyer Darlene Marie Berberabe told the leaders of the Filipino groups that as of Jan. 2015 her agency has a total asset of $ 11.24B, a net income of C$ 579.46 M and dividends at C$ 402.12M.
She said that for the operations of this semi-gov’t agency, it relies mainly on its earnings and the contributions collected from the 15.9 M members and 4.1 M of this number are OFWs.
“We don’t even ask the government for our budget “, Berberabe said.
In assuring the people that the operations of the Pag-IBIG are transparent and above-board, she said said her agency has earned its third Straight Unqualified Opinion from the Commission of Audit and it means that the agency adheres to stringent international financial reporting standards.
Adding to this COA’s unqualified opinion, Berberabe showed the ISO 9001:2008 certification which means that the agency’s existing processes in membership registration are essentially proper and of private sector-caliber.”
The above-mentioned commendation and citation are enough proofs that the Pag-IBIG Fund administrators have taken care of the workers’ savings with due diligence and integrity.
For paying less than $50 for membership at the Peg-IBIG Fund program, Filipino overseas can avail themselves of the agency’s affordable housing loans not exceeding P6M with a low interest of 6.5 % per annum payable from three to 30 years. And the agency will determine the loan applicants’ collateral and their financial ability to pay.
These people have to be members of the Pag-IBIG before they could benefit from these housing loan and savings programs.
As a procedure, the agency requires for a two-year membership before they can apply either for the housing loans or the savings plan.
“ To become members of the PAG-IBIG, these overseas Filipinos, will have to pay a lump sum of P2,400—the equivalent of two years” contributions of PAG-IBIG members and that’s all that’s needed.”, she said.
Aside from the Fund’s housing loan, its members can also prepare their retirement through the Pag-IBIG savings program and their savings can earn dividends an average of 4.14% per annum
Berberabe said that “ even those Filipino-Canadians don’t have to file for dual citizenships to avail themselves of the PAG-Ibig programs. They can easily own houses either for their retirement or loved ones in the Philippines.”
There’s another voluntary savings plan called Modified Pag-IBIG 2 program. Aside from being tax-exempt, with a 5-year maturity only and members could save anytime at their convenience, these savings get higher dividends depending on the income of the agency.
With the success of the Pag-IBIG programs, owning homes these days is easy and certainly a bright hope is looming in the horizon—something many of us can look forward to the future with optimism.
PARTNERS FOR CHANGE. Undersecretary Joel B.Maglunsod and OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac, together International Labor Affairs Bureau OIC Director Mary Sol D. Dela Cruz, meet with the group of repatriated workers from Saudi Arabia who sought assistance in claiming their unpaid wages and benefits from their employers.
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