Members assured: Pag-IBIG savings are safe; blacklist proceedings vs Globe Asiatique starts

September 8, 2010

The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) today assured its members that their savings are safe and that added safeguards to protect the integrity of the Fund are being put in place upon the directive of Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chair Jejomar C. Binay.

“The Pag-IBIG Fund remains firm in its commitment to protect its members’ hard-earned savings. Our members need not worry about the safety of their savings. Their funds are intact, and will remain under their names and will be lent or, at maturity, released only to them for their benefit,” Emma Linda B. Faria, officer in charge of the Pag-IBIG Fund, said.

Faria said the agency’s budget for services and lending operations, both for housing and short-term loans, as well as funds allocated for claims, remain unaffected by the discovery of spurious transactions involving Property developer Globe Asiatique.

“Pag-IBIG is still on track in meeting its income/dividend targets for the year 2010,” she said, adding that the Fund will continuously review existing Pag-IBIG guidelines and policies “to further strengthen internal audit processes and enhance risk management measures. “

At the same time, Faria said the Agency has started proceedings to blacklist Globe Asiatique. She also revealed that as of August 31 2010, the company racked up notices of buyback totaling P1.1 billion for Xevera housing loans.

“While this amount is by no means small, this represents only half of one percent of the total assets of the Fund and is fully collateralized. We would like to assure our members that this will not affect the agency’s financial stability and capability in providing the necessary services to them,” she said.

The Vice President had ordered a thorough probe into the Xevera case during his first week as chair of HUDCC. Binay is also the chair of the Pag-IBIG Board of Trustees.

“We are ready to file the appropriate charges to protect the Fund. I have also directed the Pag-IBIG management to take the necessary steps to prevent a repeat of the Xevera case and to assure the members that their savings are being managed professionally,” he said.

Faria explained that as a condition for accreditation, developers guarantee against ineligible or fraudulent borrowers, non-completion of projects, and fraudulent transactions.

They also issue guarantees on loans against default within a period of two years. Developers also commit to buy back faulty accounts.

A breach of any of these guarantees is ground for blacklisting developers, aside from failing to remit collections under a Collection Service Agreement (CSA).

“In the case of Globe Asiatique, we have initiated the blacklist proceedings based on the results of our investigation,” she said. Earlier this year, the Fund was alarmed with its discovery of spurious transactions in the developer’s Xevera housing projects in Pampanga involving fake borrowers.

These findings were discovered through Pag-IBIG’s own validation and internal control mechanisms.

The Fund immediately implemented protective measures, including suspension of Globe Asiatique’s access to the HDMF housing program express lane facility.

The Fund also issued notices of buyback for accounts with confirmed breach of warranties. Likewise, Pag-BIG terminated GA’s Collection Servicing Agreements given the latter’s failure to remit payments to the Fund.

A full audit of all Xevera accounts was also ordered. The Pag-IBIG Fund is also speeding up the conduct of a thorough investigation on the matter to determine the administrative, civil and criminal liabilities, as may be appropriate, of concerned parties, she added.

Faria also assured accredited developers and borrowers that the Fund will continue to take out qualified housing loan applications.

“The Fund’s housing program has not just made us the biggest provider of housing loans; it showed that we are one of the more stable and viable government institutions in the country today.

Our institutional strength and our financial stability have enabled us to not just continuously honor our obligations to our members, but also allow the Fund to meet its mandates,” she said.  Source : www.pagibigfund.gov.ph

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Gov’t to focus on socialized housing projects – Binay

August 25, 2010

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 21 (PNA) — The government will further lower the interest rates of housing loans for socialized housing packages to allow more people to access housing loans, especially the informal sector at very affordable rate.

 Vice President Jejomar Binay, the country’s Housing czar, announced during the national conference of the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP) on Friday at Grand Men Seng Hotel here that studies are ongoing to lower the interest rate to 3 percent.

He said current packages offered by the government housing agency of about P400,000 with monthly amortization of P2,300 is not a realistic package for the lower sector but this can be split to packages of P200,000 or P100,000 and with the lowered interest rate the amount for monthly payment could be at P350.

The amount, he said, will only be the cost for the house and the land will be sourced out through the local government units (LGUs) utilizing some of their idle properties through usufruct agreement.

Binay said in administering this kind of project, the developers can be given incentives from the Bureau of Internal Revenue in support to the lowering of cost of business operation.

He said the LGUs will identify the land and put in the roads and they will provide the financing for the construction of houses.

He admitted, however, that there are not enough funds in the government for socialized housing except that of Pag-IBIG Fund even as he said that because the Fund is already tax-exempt, the P2.5 billion savings could be used for projects under socialized housing.

Vice President Binay also addressed the luncheon General Membership Assembly of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII) where he said the relationship between government and the private sector is both through cooperation and coordination.

He said business is a continual dealing with the future and they deal not only with communities but the customers and consumers.

“As head of HUDCC, I also ask you to consider investing in building of homes and we should not only build houses for families but homes for families where their bodies could rest, their spirit soar and find love and peace,” he said.

He said this dream could not be possible without the help of the local government units of finding areas where these projects can immediately take off.

“We need to sustain this confidence and we need to show this to the world,” he said. (PNA) scs/Digna D. Banzon/lvp


Big demand for socialized housing, backlogs continue to grow in the country

August 21, 2010

“There is really a big demand for socialized housing and the backlogs continue to grow in the country’s housing business, according to the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP).

OSDHP press relation officer Santiago F. Ducay, however said they are hoping the new administration responds quickly to issues– citing for instance that new housing czar Vice President Jejomar Binay vowed to look into the possibility of lowering further interest rates to make housing more affordable.

Ducay said the current interest rates for socialized housing of a package of P400,000 is about six percent.

He said the current backlog by accumulation through the years is at 3.8 million and as the population grows at 2.8 percent about 900,000 new housing units are needed annually. Of the 900 thousand units, 70 percent of this is for socialized housing.

“If the government build 200,000 for socialized housing, the private sector match this with the same number or about 400,000, there’s still a backlog of 500,000,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ducay said their organization supports the call of President Simeon Benigno Aquino III to fight corruption. He said they respond to the challenges of the Aquino government in fleshing out and flushing out corruption in the construction agency.

Linda A. Tan, national president of OSHDP said they had been true to the call and in fact dropped one developer from their rooster for engaging in activities contrary to their principles of sound business operation.

Tan also heads RJ Lhinet Development Corporation, a builder of medium rise buildings and condominium in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Tan was in the city for a two-day housing convention which opened Thursday and ends Friday at the Grand Menseng. Tan said OSHDP polices its ranks and closely monitor their members.

The OSHDP, she said has to date 150 members. Before a developer is accepted, he has to pass a thorough screening and assessment by looking at one’s background and tract record.

Tan said Congressman Rodolfo G. Valencia, House Committee Chair on Housing and Urban Development disclosed he is filing a bill so that the Social Security System will be compelled to implement 30 percent of its investible fund to be dedicated to housing as stipulated in its charter.

She said when this will materialize, there will be more funds for socialized housing and citing the statement of Congressman Valencia that because Pag-IBIG Fund is now tax exempt perhaps the savings of P2.5 billion could be used to fund socialized housing projects.

“It has been the clamor of our sector for the government for sustainable funds to be made available for socialized housing developers,” she said.

On the other hand, Ducay said Congressman Valencia is also supporting the proposal of the housing sector for the creation of the Department of Housing.

The creation of the housing department will upgrade the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to a department status.

“Right now processing of projects is quiet difficult as they deal with different shelter agencies. But if there will be a single department, transaction will be uniform with requirements and procedures,” he said.

The Land Use Law is equally important because developers will have concrete guide how and where to locate subdivisions especially so that lands in the provinces are mostly for agriculture and tourism.

In this aspect, Davao is a focused location city because it is ready with its city/municipal land use plan. All this specific concerns needed in the housing projects, will now be acted upon by the Department of Housing, the body that will regulate and issue policies related to housing.

The other concern that Tan raised is for socialized housing developers to be exempt of cash advances when utilities such as light and water will be introduced to the subdivision.

Tan said for the installation of power in the project site would cost them about P120,000 per post. If there will be more than 10 posts, the cost would be P1 million or more and the return of investment will take long because the refund will only be made when connections are tapped and the utility company starts to earn.

She said they do not expect overnight change but they are willing to cooperate with the government to polish and straighten out policies, so that socialized housing is acted upon and more poor people will have access to housing projects at cheaper cost. (PNA) LOR/Digna D. Banzon/lvp


VP Binay bares his vision and plans as Housing Czar …

August 1, 2010

www.pna.gov.ph
Manila Aug. 1 (PNA) – Vice President Jejomar Binay said he envisions providing Filipino families with quality homes and communities, not just mere houses and neighborhoods.“My vision for the housing sector is simple –to provide families not just with the infrastructure of a house, but the framework of a home; to build not just a neighborhood, but a real harmonious community,” the country’s housing czar said.

Binay, who was appointed by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as the chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), disclosed his plans before members of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association (CREBA).

With this, he aims to gain the support and empower the local government units (LGUs), adding that it is important for them to have an active role in the planning and implementation of housing programs.

“They [LGUs] are in the best position to provide the inputs we need in ensuring that our housing programs truly address the housing needs in the locality. They are also in the best position to help us achieve our vision,” Binay said.

The Vice President also plans to develop an investment-friendly business climate for the housing sector, as he targets to solicit support and build strong partnership with the private sector in the implementation of localized housing projects for the poor.

“I will likewise seek to simplify the procedures and reduce red tape in the processing of housing loans, registration and issuance of land titles, and housing permits both at the national and local levels; give incentives to participating private donors; and rationalize the housing finance and subsidy framework for housing and urban development,” he said adding that this was consistent with President Aquino’s promise of a government responsive to the needs of ordinary Filipinos.

Binay said he also intends to strengthen the implementation of the asset reform program involving the utilization of idle and underutilized government lands, and to require the online publication of all projects and loans granted by the key shelter agencies.

“We can and we will succeed in building homes, and not just houses; in providing lasting opportunities, instead of temporary dole-outs; and transforming our seemingly forgotten human resources into productive members of the society,” he added.

Recently, Binay tapped the services of actor Robin Padilla to serve as his housing “ambassador” in Mindanao.

Binay said Padilla’s Muslim background will help the HUDCC address the housing shortage in Muslim communities.

Aside from the HUDCC post, Binay also asked Padilla to help promote membership in the Pag-Ibig Fund, especially among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). (PNA)
LDV/CLTC


Public-private partnership tapped for flood warning system in Davao City

July 30, 2010

The partnership between the Davao City government, the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) and Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) led to the setting up of a weather and flood alert system as part of the city’s disaster preparedness program.

 The warning system was launched during the inauguration of the Public Safety Command Center (PSCC) attended by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) deputy administrator Susan Espinueva, national and local government officials and other officials from the private sector.

 In a briefing, it was explained that the system consisted of the automated weather station (AWS), river level gauge, personal tracker, land and sea tracking devices which were fabricated and programmed by ADDU engineering faculty and students.

 The Ateneo students composed of Charese Olmoguez, Ann Marie Roselle Balinas and Flora May dela Cruz with Engr. Marloue O. Pidor as mentor,  made the concept and design and was funded by SMART.

These students created an upgraded version of the search and rescue management system which placed second during the 2008 SWEEP Innovation Awards organized by SMART.

SWEEP or Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program is an educational initiative of telecommunications firm of which ADDU is a partner-school.

Data generated by these devices once deployed will be transmitted via SMART’s cellular network to a website which can be accessed by the PSCC.

 PCSS head Mario Verner Sebial Monsanto said in cases where information would indicate the rise of water from where the gauges were deployed. This will be communicated immediately to the responders and to concerned officials and leaders.

He said SMART also donated 20 manual rain gauges and these units are deployed in the city’s flood-prone barangays. The barangay captains will then designate a point person to monitor these rain gauges everyday to ensure that the units are working and safe.

According to Mon Isberto, head of public affairs group of SMART he said that the AWS form the core of an early warning system for the city which has been experiencing floods in some of its districts in recent years.

Aside from the unit located within the Central 911 Compound, three more AWS will soon be deployed in SMART’s relay station in San Fernando, Bukidnon and cell sites in Marilog and Buda.

He said the reason they came in to support the project is because it is an idea that is demand driven as suggested by the Davao City officials.

 There is also a need since Davao City is experiencing flooding even when there is no rain and Davao City is the only city in the country that has the capability for now.

 “It is unique to Davao and no other local government unit has that capability,” he said.

Right now they are still developing the concept as to whether it is the ideal one because they still have to prove it.

“But the longer you do it, the more effective it becomes. And with more data collected you can already see relationships on how long and how big the water rises and its extent as to areas,” he said.

 He said when we will succeed with this, and then we can in the future share it with other local government units although he said they have already about 3 or 4 local government units (LGUs) already in mind.

The Ateneo group calibrated their AWS based on World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards under the guidance of weather specialists from PAGASA.

 The group underwent a week-long immersion program with the state weather bureau. Complementary to the AWS is river monitoring instrument also developed by the engineering students and these will be set up along Bantol and Lacson Rivers and on the bridges of Suwawan and Waan, all in Davao City.

By observing both rainfall and river level information, the Davao’s Rescue 911 Service will be able to provide timely flood warning.

The original design of the disaster alert system to be implemented by Davao City where officials can better track sea vessels during emergencies was also expanded to track land vehicles where the ADDU group worked closely with Rescue 911, Davao City’s 24-hour emergency response team, and the Davao Gulf Management Council and the Philippine Coastguard in testing the sea and land-based prototypes.

 Two sea tracking devices will be issued to the Coast Guard while two land vehicle tracking device will be assigned to Rescue 911 for use in their ambulance and mobile patrol vehicle. A personal tracker has also been designed to be worn on the vest of Rescue 911 personnel. (PNA) LAP/DDB/lvp


Construction industry players to submit new scheme to gov’t for infra works

July 18, 2010

Also published @ www.pna.gov.ph
The construction industry players are working on a scheme which they could partner with the public sector in support to the government’s implementation of infrastructure projects.
 
Levy V. Espiritu, president of Philippine Constructors Association, Inc. (PCA) said the association’s proposal would be presented to President-elect Simeon Benigno Aquino III during the Construction Industry Congress in Manila next month.

He said that details of the mechanism were the results of group discussion among stakeholders in the different regions of the country since January this year.

He said the association was looking at a model that was used in the neighboring Asian countries where private and public collaborated through the Public and Private Partnership (PPP) program.

He said a roadmap of the construction industry, which hopes to spur development of the country for the next six to 10 years, would also be presented to the President.

Espiritu said the financial institutions like banks were willing to finance the identified projects, in collaboration with the government, with their P7 trillion deposits and special deposit account.

He said the locals can fund these projects and the Philippines, through the PPP, is more than capable to do the projects on their own and funded locally.

He said while the government needs infrastructure to the development of the regions, it is also appropriate to tap the private sector for project development.

Espiritu cited that in public education, the Department of Education (DepEd) still needs several school buildings but DepEd does not have the resources which the private sector can pitch in.

He also cited the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) as an example of a consortium where the PPP model has been applied.

In the PPP, the industry players collaborate with the government for the implementation of important projects.

He said they are optimistic that the new administration will consider the proposal as this will do away with sourcing out funds through loans.

He also said that when foreign funds come in, it would be 30 to 40 percent higher compared to projects funded locally, which is cheaper of about 40 percent and carries no risk.

Meanwhile, he said there is a boom in construction anywhere in the country as seen from the ongoing demand for housing units.

But, he said while there is demand for housing development, which he said is a multiplier effect in the construction business, homebuyers already shifted to their pattern of acquisition as they shifted to lifestyle buying.

He said developers now are not only building core houses but are already into semi-furnished units.

Manolito P. Madrasto, PCA executive officer, said buyers were now keen on items that were geared towards protecting the environment and these concerns were included in their advocacy of the Green Building.

He said the technologies are now into prioritizing environment protection. (PNA)
RMA/Digna D. Banzon/lvp


how to become a member of Pag-IBIG Fund

February 5, 2009

 
MEMBERSHIP PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS

I. FOR WORKERS WITH REGULAR EMPLOYMENT

Persuant to Republic Act 7742 which was fully implemented on January 1, 1995, membership to the Pag-IBIG Fund shall be mandatory for all employees covered by the Social Security System (SSS) and/or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and who are earning at least P4,000.00 a month. This mandatory coverage is also extended to expatriates whose age is up to 60 years old and who are compulsorily covered by the SSS. In the absence of an explicit exemption from SSS coverage the said expatriate, upon assumption of office, shall be compulsorily covered by the Fund.

Membership for employees who are earning less than P4,000 a month, including those who belong to other working groups shall be on a voluntary basis.

Procedures on the Registration of Employers and it’s employees

  1. Proceed to the Marketing and Enforcement Division of the concerned branch and request for a copy of the Membership Registration/Remittance Form (MRRF) [FPF060].
  1. Accomplish and submit two (2) copies of the MRRF together with the following supporting documents to the Marketing and Enforcement Division:
  • Members Data Form (MDF) of the employees
  • Certificate of SSS Coverage and Compliance (for the current year), if private employer
  • GSIS Certificate of Membership, if government employer
For Sole Proprietorship

  • DTI Registration
  • Mayor’s Permit/ Business Permit

For Partnership/Corporation

  • SEC Registration
  • Articles of Partnership/Incorporation and By-laws

Notes:

  1. The original copy of the documents shall be presented for authentication.
  2. Upon submission of complete documents, the Marketing and Enforcement Division shall issue the Payment Order Form (POF).
  1. Proceed to the Cash and Administrative Services Division and pay the 1st monthly membership contributions (MC).
  2. Upon payment, present the Pag-IBIG Fund Receipt (PFR) to the Marketing and Enforcement Division.

Notes:

  1. The succeeding remittances shall depend on the following schedule:
First Letter of Company Name Remittance Schedule
A – D 10th to the 14th day of the month
E – L
15th to the 19th day of the month
M – Q
20th to the 24th day of the month
R – Z
25th to the end of the month
  1. For the succeeding remittances, the MRRF may be submitted in diskette.

<!–

Procedure of registration for first-time member-companies:

  1. Accomplish two copies of the Membership Registration/Remittance Form (M1-1).
  2. Prepare the following documents (2 photocopies):
    • SEC registration or the company’s DTI and SSS registration
    • R3 and R1A forms (SSS registration and remittance forms)
  3. Present all documents (M1-1, registration and SSS forms) to the Marketing Division of the concerned Pag-IBIG branch office for verification (bring all originals for authentication). Secure referral slip from Marketing staff.
  4. Proceed to the office’s Cash Division for payment of first monthly remittance.
  5. Submit the “referral slip” prepared by the Marketing staff and all verified documents to the cashier.
  6. Succeeding remittance date shall depend on the schedule of payment of the office (see below). Accomplished M1-1 shall serve as the remittance form for succeeding payments.
  7. Submit to the Marketing office 2 copies of the accomplished Member’s Data Forms (MDF) of all qualified employees to the Marketing Division on the second month after the first payment of contributions.
  8. The names of newly-hired employees that are covered by RA 7742 should be included in the accomplished M1-1 form and their corresponding contributions duly remitted to the Fund. The accomplished MDF of the new employees shall be submitted on the following month.

Schedule of Payments for Company-Members

First Letter of Company Name   Remittance Schedule
 
A-D   10th to the 14th day of the month
E-L   15th to the 19th day of the month
M-Q   20th to the 24th day of the month
R-Z   25th to the end of the month

–>II. INDIVIDUAL-PAYORS/VOLUNTARY MEMBERS

Employees who are not regularly employed and who belong to other working groups can join the Pag-IBIG Fund on a voluntary basis.

How to join Pag-IBIG:

  1. Accomplished and submit two (2) copies of the MDF and all required supporting documents to the Marketing and Enforcement Division of the concerned Pag-IBIG branch office (bring all originals for authentication)
  2. Secure Payment Order Form (POF) from Marketing and Enforcement Division and proceed to the Cash Division for payment of initial membership contributions (MC)
  3. Present all verified/stamped documents to the Marketing and Enforcement Division.
  4. Secure Payment Order Form before proceeding to Cash Division for payment of contribution

REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUAL PAYORS (IP)

SELF-PAYING (WAIVED COMPANY)

  • Certificate of Employment & Compensation
  • Latest Payslip
  • Company ID

SELF-EMPLOYED

  • Latest ITR
  • <!–

  • Latest Income Tax Return (ITR) with Financial Statement of the previous year certified by a CPA
  • Certificate of Remittance/ESAV (for old members)
  • Two 1×1 ID pictures
  • SEC or DTI Registration (should be under the member’s name)
  • Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
  • –>

<!–OPERATORS OR FRANCHISE HOLDERS

  • Franchise Permit (under the member’s name)
  • Official Receipt or Car Registration (under member’s name)
  • Latest ITR (previous year)
  • Two 1×1 ID pictures
  • –> <!–

  • Certificate of Remittance or ESAV
  • Two ID pictures
  • –>OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKER (OFW) (For Reactivating Members only)

  • Latest Contract of Employment
  • Passport or any valid ID<!–
  • Latest and valid Contract of Employment (with POEA original stamp)
  • Certificate of Remittance or ESAV
  • Passport or any Valid ID/POEA license
  • Two 1×1 ID pictures
  • Special Power of Attorney (SPA), in case a representative shall submit the documents and pay the member’s contributions
  • –>

<!–SELF-EMPLOYED PROFESSIONALS

  • PRC/BAR License
  • Latest ITR (previous year)
  • Certificate of Remittance or ESAV (for old members)
  • Two 1×1 ID pictures
  • –>UNEMPLOYED SPOUSE (For Non-Working Spouse)

  • Written consent from member-working spouse
  • Certificate of Employment and Compensation of member-working spouse
  • Affidavit of Unemployment

For member-spouse with business:

  • Latest ITR <!–
  • Written consent from member-employed/working spouse
  • Certificate of Employment and Compensation of member-working spouse (notarized)
  • Affidavit of Unemployment
  • Two 1×1 ID pictures
  • If member-spouse has own business
  • Latest ITR (previous year)
  • Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit
  • SEC or DTI Registration
  • Monthly contributions of unemployed members (reactivating or non-working spouse) shall be P100.00
  • The unemployed member has the option to upgrade his monthly contributions, but may not downgrade the amount
  • Unemployed members may avail of the Multi-Purpose Loan but not a housing loan from Pag-IBIG
  • Individual payors or voluntary members have the option to choose their terms of payment, e.g monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc.
  • –>

    UNEMPLOYED (For Reactivating Members only)

    • Affidavit of Unemployment