Pag-IBIG Fund targets 1-M OFW members in 2010

DAVAO CITY, Dec. 14 (PNA) — The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), or Pag-IBIG Fund, is set to increase its membership of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to one million in 2010.

This was revealed by HDMF vice president for Southern Mindanao operations Jose W. Banzon Jr. during the “Handog ng Pag-IBIG Fund sa OFW” over the weekend at SM City Davao entertainment center.

Pag-IBIG Fund has current membership of 470,000 OFWs, and aims to double the figure by 2010.

Meanwhile, Banzon said in recognition to the huge contribution of OFWs to the country’s economy, the agency came up with fitting tribute to them by letting them understand further the benefits they get from the Fund as members, and a simple celebration for the Christmas season.

Citing figures from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Banzon said the total remittances of OFWs from 2003 to 2008 amounted to US$ 70.5 billion or P3.2 trillion. The figure for 2009 is at P284 billion or equivalent to 71 percent of the national budget of the Philippine government for 2010.

Pag-IBIG Fund, he said has set up offices in the Philippine embassies and consular offices to cater to queries and other services of Pag-IBIG member.

With the passage of the new law or Republic Act 9679, the OFWs in 2010 are covered by Pag-IBIG Fund as compulsory members.

Once a member of the Fund, OFWs will enjoy benefits and service such as multi-purpose loan, housing loan and earnings of dividends, he said.

He said an OFW that will pay five dollars monthly contribution could avail among others of a housing loan with six percent interest rate per annum for a house and lot package of P300,000 or other types of packages.

Banzon said OFWs tax free contribution could earn at least 4.5 percent.

Linda Moreno, HDMF vice president for Philippine International Operations Group, said they will open more offices abroad to make the Pag-IBIG Fund services more accessible to OFWs.

Lawyer Marie Antoniette D. Diaz, assistant manager for Pag-IBIG Fund Davao, the agency’s fund being exempted to taxes can be used for more programs including payment of dividends to members. (PNA)
FFC/DDB/lvp

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