Pag-IBIG Fund chief cries foul over housing developer’s accusations


Pag-IBIG Fund chief executive officer Jaime Fabiaña yesterday slammed a housing developer for berating Fund officials for “losing the vision to serve,” saying Pag-IBIG “continues to be a strong and viable institution because of its hardworking and dedicated men and women.” Fabiaña was reacting to a report published in the Philippine Star that quoted Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corporation owner and president Delfin Lee as saying Pag-IBIG officials “have been there too long … they have become lazy and have lost the vision to serve.” “Pag-IBIG continues to be a strong and viable institution because of its hardworking and dedicated men and women whose focus to serve the Fund’s more than eight million members nationwide remains unwavering,” Fabiaña said. He cited statistics that showed housing loan approvals grew at an average of 42 percent for the last three years – P22 billion in 2007, P34 billion in 2008, and P46 billion in 2009. “Every day, 300 families are able to acquire homes through Pag-IBIG’s housing loan program. In times of calamity, Pag-IBIG provided an immediate lifeline to 800,000 calamity-stricken members through loans amounting to P14.7 billion. On a daily basis, the Fund releases P185 million in short-term loans which helped finance the emergency needs of 10,454 members,” he said. Fabiaña also belied Lee’s accusation that a memo providing that a member applying for a housing loan must have complied with the twelve-month residency requirement beginning July 1 of this year was unusually timed. “It was not unusually timed. To properly disseminate the new requirement, the Fund has undertaken intensive consultations with developer groups including the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA) and the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP) as well as with the Fund Coordinators who serve as liaisons of Pag-IBIG with employer-companies,” he said. “We also made sure that the Fund included this policy in all its housing loan briefings both here and abroad. It was thoroughly discussed in a lot of meetings,” he added. Fabiaña said the amendment was duly approved by the Pag-IBIG Board headed by former Vice President and HUDCC chair Noli de Castro. “However, in a recent memo, the Senior Management of the Fund heeded the request of developers and members to defer its implementation and allowed the payment of 24 monthly contributions until September 30 of this year, provided housing loan applications are submitted not later than December 29, 2010,” Fabiaña said. According to Fabiaña, the 12-month residency requirement was established under HDMF Circular No. 55 to build up more funds for re-lending. “In March 2000, the residency requirement was two years. In 2001, Pag-IBIG lifted the two-year residency requirement allowing members to pay in lump sum, the 24 monthly membership contributions to avail of a housing loan because there were only a few borrowers then. At that time, total housing loan approval was only P3.5 billion,” he said. “Following the reduction in interest rates and lengthening of loan term to 30 years, Pag-IBIG has experienced immense growth in loan approvals recording an average growth rate of 42 percent for the last three years – P22 billion in 2007, P34 billion in 2008, and P46 billion in 2009. At this rate, it is no longer sustainable for Pag-IBIG to finance the growing demand for housing,” he added. Fabiaña also observed that instant membership has been prone to abuse, citing monitoring reports that indicated that abuses have been committed, particularly in the Pampanga area, “including Mr. Lee’s Xevera Projects, where almost 400 approved accounts were confirmed to be doubtful because the borrowers denied they availed of the housing loans.” Fabiaña said Lee himself “confirmed the existence of these problematic approved accounts.” “In a letter to Pag-IBIG, Lee wrote that ‘based on our internal monitoring, there are buyers who have not been paying since take-out (loan approval). We are closely monitoring some 1,000 accounts which we suspect are of questionable buyers. We have since cancelled 400 of these accounts…’,” Fabiaña said Fabiaña also took exception to Lee’s statement that HDMF officials are “lazy… they put the money in treasury bills and avoid innovative and challenging work that can fulfill the mission to provide low-cost housing to Filipinos”. He said according to the agency’s figures, Pag-IBIG has long surpassed its mandate to provide 70 percent of its funds for housing. “In 2009, 78 percent of the P256 billion total assets of the Fund are housing- related. For the first five months of the year, this has already reached 80 percent representing P204 billion out of the P271 billion total assets,” he said. Emma Linda Faria, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the support services cluster, said Pag-IBIG “we cannot put all our funds in housing as we must be able to pay our members’ Provident claims on time. Plus we must always be liquid.” On Lee’s estimate that 70 percent of low-cost housing clients of real estate developers would be affected by the policy, Fabiaña said out of the 8 million members of Pag-IBIG, only around 800,000 members have housing loans. There are more than seven million remaining members who have made 24-monthly membership contributions who have not yet availed of a housing loan. “If sales agents are not lazy, they can easily tap this potential,” he said. Fabiaña said the Fund is what it is today – “one of the top government corporations and the leading financier of the government’s housing program” – because of the singular dedication and hard work of its 5000-strong work force of the Fund. “As a result, Pag-IBIG has been recognized locally and internationally for its contribution in housing. To cite a few: a Triple A minus (Aaa) rating from PhilRatings in 2005 for creditworthiness; UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour in 2006 for providing affordable home financing, making the Fund the first government agency to receive such commendation; Congressional Citation in 2008 for its exemplary contribution in the government’s battle against homelessness and poverty; and Civil Service Commission PASADA Awardee since 2007 for exhibiting the value of customer care and meeting the expectation of the transacting public for prompt, courteous, and responsive service,” he said. Fabiaña assured the Fund that he will continuously refine its housing program to ensure that the dream of homeownership can be easily attained by every Filipino worker. (with ref. Margie Jorillo at 811-4198)

5 Responses to Pag-IBIG Fund chief cries foul over housing developer’s accusations

  1. Hi this is amazing site! it is very well put together and the information that you have shown here is also top notch and a powerful read for me. Please keep creating such super material to learn finance. Thanks alot..This the best article I have never seen before….I like this post.

  2. […] Thank you learn-finance … learn-finance says: July 24, 2010 at 3:32 pm  (Edit) […]

  3. Siman says:

    I have a question?? Its all over the paper and internet.. I never saw it at tv patrol and saksi. Why?

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