my interview with the “relucant leader, accidential hero” of Pag-IBIG Fund

March 20, 2009

quimbotalk73I got the chance to interview personalities and top ranking officials in private corporations and government offices, but i will treasure most my recent (ambush) interview of this “reluctant leader, accidental hero” of Pag-IBIG Fund.

Everytime I learned of his coming to Davao, I and my media friends look forward to interviewing him because Atty. Miro Quimbo is one personality that we could build a cabinet of stories and run them for weeks.  He always has new things to say.  We like him because he is intelligent and articulate and media friendly.

Also a lovable person that girls of all ages would want a photo shoot with him. There was one occasion while we were in an interview that some ladies approached him for a photograph and he obliged himself getting our nod that he be excused for a second just for the foto shoot.

He possesses the features of a celebrity and he is one in his own right although he readily said “that’s good only while you are in the position”. Quimbo is chief executive officer of Pag-IBIG Fund but recent development broke out where the carried a story of his quitting the top position of the Fund.

I was saddened by the news. I got a text from a Manila friend Thursday morning of RSQ quitting the post. But because I was busy with coverages that day first with a presscon at Pag-IBIG Fund Davao office with VP Jose W Banzon Jr. on the new condonation law and at the Medco Office for another presscon with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino I. Razon and Medco Usec Virgilio Leyretana, I forgot about the text. 

Earlier on I had to go back to the house to iron the toga of daughter Kim for the pictorial of Ateneo graduating class of 2009.  What made my day horrible also was the sudden transport strike leaving the streets without public utility jeepneys.  All taxis that ply the Bangkal area yesterday were all occupied.

Good thing my couple friends Cesar (of SM) and wife Karen (on event organizing) saw me and very desperate of getting a ride because I could not huggle for one that time because I was already late for the 10am presscon.  I was still on the road at 10:45 am. 

It pays to have lots of friends, and because of Cesar and Karen I was still able to catch up with the first presscon.

At past 12:00 we then moved to the second presscon from Pag-IBIG Fund with Q, Tony A, Peng, Beth and Henry to Medco.  And after taking our lunch after the presscon there, Peng and company dropped us to Bolton at NetExpress where Joy and I wrote our stories.

Ride home was still difficult at 4:00 pm so I decided to take the taxi (at last walang laman) and dropped Joy at NCCC.

I arrived home at almost 5PM. Watched tv while i thaw the fish and meat that i will cook for our dinner.

My husband arrived home at past 5PM and told me about RSQ and that reminded me of the text i got earlier.  I searched the net and found the story.  Atty. Tonette also texted me about this.

And when i read the story … only then i realized it’s real.

During my March 6 interview with him, although very brief, after some clarification of what he said during the Mindanao Housing Forum,  i asked him about his future plans like seeking political seat. He did not answer me on that but Jokingly he said “i will run in the oval”.   And with the big smile he said thank you for the help.  I know these are the stories we write about his Pag-IBIG Fund.

As i writer and with the many occasions that i interviewed him, i believe in his vision and i know he is sincere in his job.

I still look forward to interviewing him even after Pag-IBIG Fund and his next career could be more exciting and that would make our stories about him exciting as well. 

Thanks to JWB jr too for setting the interviews we had with him. 

“Break a leg Sir” … and we pray for you too.

(you can read the article “reluctant leader, accidental hero” at the CEO’s corner at


New condonation law carries good features, could improve housing accounts

March 19, 2009

The Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund is optimistic of attaining improvement in housing accounts with the passage of Republic Act 9507 or An Act To Establish A Socialized Low-Cost Housing Loan Restructuring and Condonation Program.

Pag-IBIG Fund vice president for Southern Mindanao operations Jose W. Banzon, Jr. told Davao reporters that given this new law they see an improvement in their housing loan program even as he said that Southern Mindanao ranked third corporatewide in housing loan performance.

He said of their 12 percent borrowers of the Fund’s 470,000 members in Southern Mindanao, 82 percent are good accounts and only 18 percent in arrears.

 “We aim to increase our housing borrowers because that is our mandate to provide homes to our members,” he said.

 He said the P400,000 house and lot package has an interest rate of only six percent or a monthly amortization of P2,398.20 while the P700,000 package of seven percent interest rate has a monthly amortization of P3,326.51.

 Meanwhile he said for those with default accounts, the new condonation law could be the last opportunity for them to save their accounts. With the new law, he said there is no processing fee, no downpayment and with full condonation of accumulated penalties/surcharges.

He said there will condonation of portion of accumulated interest. The Pag-IBIG Fund Board still has to meet on March 30 to determine how much rate of interest will be condoned, he said.

 Under the old law or Republic Act 8501 he said there is no condonation of interest rate and it requires processing fee and downpayment. The other features include uncondoned interest is non-interest bearing and shall be paid in equal monthly amortization during the term of the Restructured Loan.

 The interest rate of the Restructured Loan is the original interest rate or 12 percent whichever is lower. Maximum term is 30 years with discount on interest for prompt payment.

Banzon also said that the applicant’s savings/contributions with Pag-IBIG Fund may be used to update his/her loan obligation. Foreclosed accounts covered by the Program provided oone-year redemption period has not yet lapsed.

The Loan Condonation and Restructuring Program or RA 9507 took effect on March 16, 2009 and will be implemented for 18 months (reckoned from March 16, 2009).

 But the Government Financing Institutions (GFIs) has the option to continue the program beyond 18 months. Legal heirs and successors-in-interest can apply for Loan Condonation and Restructuring in lieu of original borrowers.

He said those who have availed themselves of previous penalty condonation and restructuring program are eligible to apply.

Pag-IBIG Fund works on long-haul program

March 13, 2009

quimbowidjoe4quimbowidjoe5quimbowidprix3(Photo courtesy of Mr. Edgar Arro of Mindanao Times … thank you)  The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG Fund is working on the long-haul program where it seeks to partner with housing developers in providing housing units to prospective homebuyers who are members of the Fund.

Lawyer Romero Federico S. Quimbo, chief executive officer of Pag-IBIG Fund told developers during the recent Mindanao Housing Forum held in Davao City that in support to the long haul program the Fund has earmarked a bigger loan facility this year amounting to P50.50 billion.

Close to 200 participants joined the Mindanao Housing Forum coming from Regions IX, X, XI, XII and XIII.

Quimbo said that Pag-IBIG Fund has enough money for the program and developers can access the fund depending on the kind of program they would avail.

He stressed however that they want to implement lending program that is sustainable yet find ways to make it easier for the developers to access the funds saying that “we want our business sustainable and your (developers) business sustainable too”.

He told the home builders that they need to meet half-way to develop the housing program and the Fund wants to partner with people who are in for the long haul. They invite private sector to come in and invest as they partner with them in delivering homes to the members.

Quimbo said the Fund does not get any subsidy from government and they are the company that must make money because they need to give back to the members in form of dividends out of the money that they use for programs like housing loan.

“If we do not give back in return, the members would think that we are only using their money. We need to give something back to them who are funding the loans to developers,” he said.

He reminded developers that it is the Fund members’ money that they are using through the development loans and Pag-IBIG Fund needs to take care of their fund that is why they see to it that guidelines are followed.

He said out of the 7.5 millon members of the Fund only 10 percent avail of housing loans while the remaining 90 percent has not availed of the program yet contributes to the funds housing loan program.

The housing loan window this year is 53 percent higher than in 2008 of only P34.03 billion. The 2009 will have P43 billion for end-users loan and P7 billion for institutional loan.

He said for a period of ten years the housing loan program allocation in 2001 was only at P3.82 billion followed by P5.40 billion in 2002, P9.32 billion in 2004, P15.30 billion in 2005, P16.10 billion, 2006, and P22.59 billion in 2007.

Quimbo said despite the increased growth they maintain the same budget in 2007 and 2008 of 5 percent as against their revenue of 45 percent.

He said the growth for the past years was at P1.3 billion, but it was only last year they were able to hit P38 billion.

Pag-IBIG Fund to launch Info System Programs

March 13, 2009



The Home Development Mutural Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG Fund is working on its Integrated Information System Program (IISPP) project as it continuosly seek to improve its services to members and partners.
Pag-IBIG Fund chief executive officer Atty. Romero F S Quimbo made the announcement during the recent Mindanao Housing Forum held in Davao City where close to 200 participants joined coming from Regions IX, X, XI, XII and XIII.  The forum was also attended by the Fund’s managers in Mindanao.
Quimbo said they never stop working on strategies inorder to make the Fund become responsive to the needs of the stakeholders.
The IISP is a system the Fund will implement where relevant data could be accessed at the shortest time possible.
He said the moment IISP becomes operational the membership service verifiication slip (MSVS) which is a requirement for housing loan application could be generated in few seconds to determine whether the applicant is qualified to borrow or not.
Given this, it would also provide developer faster processing time in terms of take out as it allows the Fund to come up with a better system, he said.
He said when data is available it will also help developer locate and find potential markets even as he said that partnership will be forged with developers in creating a data base that would help them locate areas where there is a need.
He said this is one thing that the Fund is trying to develop inorder for them to target individuals who need homes.
Right now he said only 10 percent of the 7.5 million members of Pag-IBIG Fund access the housing loan program.
But he said they had been reaching out to members to avail of the program saying that Pag-IBIG Fund has been created for the long haul program or the housing loan program.
The Fund has been sustaining its program and Quimbo said that for 2009 some P50.50 billion has been earmarked for housing loan.
Quimbo who assured developers that funds is ready for housing projects said they would deal with developers who are resourceful and those whose businesses are gaining even as he encouraged them to avail of the opportunity where they could build more homes by tapping house loan window through institutional loan with Pag-IBIG Fund.
He emphasized however that Pag-IBIG Fund is implementing lending program that is sustainable and as far as their relationship with the developers are concerned they make sure that the program is sustainable.
The Fund has in its menu of Institutional Loans nine types of loan windows that developers could choose from.
Pag-IBIG Fund vice president for southern Mindanao operations Jose W. Banzon, Jr. said these loan facilities include Development Loan Program, LGU-Development Loan, Credit Facility, Pag-IBIG City, Medium/High Rise Building, Housing Receivables Financing Facility, Home Construction Financing Line.
He said for the Southern Mindanao area alone they already had financed a total of 91 projects.  74 of these projects were fully paid, eight are current projects while nine in default.
He said their success rate for institutional loans to developers is at 90.11 percent for the P2.119 billion loan facility since it started giving out loans to developer where total units built accounted to 24,119 spread out in their area of coverage.
Meanwhile both Pag-IBIG Fund deputy chief executives Jaime A. Fabiana and Tessie M. Gonzales told developers during the open forum that they will continue to study areas where it will be more easier for the developers to implement projects by accessing financing with the Fund just like the case of reducing the processing time of take out and the release of notice of approval.   




Next Week’s Event in Davao City

March 1, 2009

Mindanao Developer’s Forum sponsored by Pag-IBIG Fund this March. Updates will be posted soon … watch  for it.

Today’s Report — VP Noli de Castro announces new cut in Pag-IBIG housing loan interest rates

March 1, 2009

Vice President Noli “Kabayan” De Castro announced another adjustment in Pag-IBIG Fund housing loan interest rates, making the monthly amortizations for its most popular loan package even more affordable.

The interest rate for loans up to P400,000 has been reduced from 7% to only 6% per annum. Interest rate for loans worth over P400,000 up to P750,000 is 7%, and 10.5% for loans over P750,000 up to P2 million.

As a result of this rate cut, the monthly payment for principal and interest for a P400,000 loan will go down from P2,661.21 to P2,398.20 at the maximum payment period of 30 years.

The Vice President said the bulk of housing loans taken out by Pag-IBIG are those worth P400,000 and under. “The market for Pag-IBIG loans are mostly the low income earners, so this latest interest rate adjustment will benefit them,” he said.

“In these difficult times, we want more Pag-IBIG members to have home ownership as an affordable option to renting,” he added.

De Castro added that the rate reduction dovetails with the Fund’s commitment to allocate P82 billion for housing and multi-purpose loans this year as its contribution to the government’s economic stimulus package. “With this, we hope to attract more borrowers.

This will help keep the housing market vibrant, generate business activity in related industries, and create much-needed jobs for our workers,” he said.

In support of the Fund’s higher allocation for shelter financing, De Castro has directed the Pag-IBIG Fund to review its housing loan application process and find ways to further streamline it.

De Castro also assured members that Pag-IBIG will continue to invest at least 70% of its investible funds in housing even with the Fund’s charter change.

This is in reference to the recently approved Senate Bill that aims to strengthen the Pag-IBIG Fund by amending its charter to restore its exemption from income taxes and to empower its Board of Trustees to adjust contribution rates, among other things. “Housing will continue to be Pag-IBIG’s core service to its members, and its main contribution to our country’s economic growth,” he said.

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