Solon calls on Pag-IBIG Fund to revise payment guidelines on accumulated premiums during ECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   April 30, 2020   •   1012

MANILA, Philippines — Pag-IBIG Fund has allowed a 30-day grace period to all its borrowers as a relief measure while the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is in effect and in compliance with Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020. 

But according to the agency’s Vice President for Public Relations and Information Services Group, Atty. Kalin Franco-Garcia, the accumulated amount of premiums must be settled through one-time payment once the ECQ is lifted.

Pagkatapos ng ECQ sa first working day ay kailangan na po ninyong bayaran ang lahat ng (amount) due habang naka-ECQ ka [After the ECQ, on the first working day you need to settle all unpaid dues while on ECQ],” the Pag-IBIG official said during an interview with UNTV’s public service program, Serbisong Bayanihan.

The show’s host, Kuya Daniel Razon, noted however that while under ECQ, workers are presumed to have no income as jobs were put on hold. 

“Kasi po there is a presumption na na-stop ako ng work kaya kung halimbawa, immediately pagbalik magbabayad ako kaagad parang, it defeats the purpose of the Bayanihan Act, right? ” he asked.

To which, Atty. Franco-Garcia argued that it was the reason why Pag-IBIG Fund approved a ‘friendlier’ option for its borrowers.

“That is exactly po ang nakalagay sa Bayanihan Law but nonetheless po that’s why we came up with the moratorium that is friendlier in terms po, payment reprieve,” she said.

In addressing similar concerns, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has directed owners of residential and commercial establishments to also grant a 30-day grace period to their tenants on the duration of the ECQ.

But the accumulated amount of unpaid rent, according to DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, should be paid on a staggered basis within six months. 

Kapag na-lift na po ang ECQ hindi pa sila pwedeng singilin [Once the ECQ is lifted, the tenants cannot be forced to pay yet],” Castello said in an interview on Wednesday (April 29).

Kapag siningil na sila pwedeng i-divide into six installments ang mga rental na nag-accumulate during the ECQ period [The amount of accumulated rentals within the ECQ period may be divided into six installments]” she added. 

Atty. Franco-Garcia explained, however, that should it become difficult for the borrower to pay in full after the ECQ period, he may apply for the 3-month moratorium. 

But one of the principal authors of the Law, Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy wants Pag-IBIG Fund to revise its guidelines to clarify the issue.

Nananawagan ako sa Pag-IBIG Fund. Dapat kayo po ang numero unong nakikisama sa ating mga kababayan. Dahil hindi mo pwedeng i-expect na pagbalik, bibiglain nyo ng 2 months worth ang babayaran nila, 3 months worth. Hindi po yan makatarungan at hindi yan naaayon sa batas na ipinasa natin,” Rep. Herrera-Dy said. 

[I am calling on Pag-IBIG Fund. You should be the first to help our people. You cannot expect them to pay the 2-months, 3-months worth of arrears in one full payment. That is injustice and it violates that law that we authored.]

“We’ve asked credit companies to help us. We’ve asked landlords to help us. Tapos kayo pa ang manggigipit sa mamamayang Pilipino [Then here you are adding pressure to Filipinos]. Please don’t do that,” she appealed. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Pag-IBIG assures no hampered gov’t project despite application of grace period in payment of loans

Marje Pelayo   •   May 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Over 120,000 members of the state-owned Pag-IBIG Fund have been granted multi-purpose and/or calamity loans within the duration of community quarantine since the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) early this year. 

Pag-IBIG Fund Media Affairs Manager Jack Jacinto said this translates to an accumulated amount of around P2-B in loans apart from the approved housing loans within the community quarantine period amounting to an additional P2-B. 

Jacinto said a 30-day grace period for payment has been automatically applied to all existing loans within the community quarantine period and members who wish to extend their payment terms may apply for a three-month moratorium. 

He also confirmed that around 200,000 members have been granted applications for the moratorium. 

The agency assures that the adjustments do not affect any of the government’s existing projects that it supports. 

In fact, Pag-IBIG Fund has also allotted a P10-B budget for the government’s housing projects while quarantine orders are in place.

“Habang natutulungan natin ang mga miyembro natin sapagkat nabibigyan natin sila ng pagkakataong magkabahay, makakagenerate pa tayo ng trabaho dahil nga ang construction, napakataas ng multiplier effect nito,” explained Jacinto. 

[While we help our members the opportunity to own a house, we are able to generate more jobs because the construction (industry) has a high multiplier effect.]

Those interested to apply for a moratorium may visit the agency’s website at www.pagibigfund.gov.ph. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Pag-IBIG Fund members can now digitally apply for loan: Here’s how

Robie de Guzman   •   March 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Pag-IBIG Fund has updated its loan application process to allow the digital processing of loans including Calamity Loan, amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Most Filipinos are now in need of financial assistance after business operations were ordered suspended amid the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

Pag-IBIG Fund’s Calamity Loan Program seeks to provide immediate financial aid to its affected members in calamity-stricken areas.

Those who are qualified to apply are actively contributing members “residing in areas included in the declaration of a state of calamity by the Office of the President or the local council,” according to Pag-IBIG’s Calamity Loan Program FAQ.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the Philippines under a state of calamity last March 17.

The loan applicant must also have at least 24 monthly membership savings and sufficient proof of income to qualify.

“If you have an existing Pag-IBIG Fund Housing Loan, MPL and/or Calamity Loan, your payments must be updated for you to qualify,” its FAQ reads.

On its Facebook page, Pag-IBIG said it released an updated guide on how its members can digitally apply for Multi-Purpose Loan and Calamity Loan to “accommodate members who have no access to a printer.”

Here’s how to digitally apply for a loan:

1. Applicants should fill out forms for Multi-Purpose Loan and Calamity Loan

2. Save the filled-out form as PDF file

3. Send the PDF file via email to your company Human Resources (HR) department, authorized company representative, or Fund Coordinator along with one valid ID and the front and back images of your Loyalty Card Plus, or Landbank, UCPB or DBP cash card.

Pag-IBIG Fund said the company HR, authorized representative, or Fund Coordinator shall e-mail the following to the Pag-IBIG Fund email address designated for your area:

1. Your loan application and requirements

2. The filled-out ‘Employer Confirmation of STL Application’ bearing your name. Your authorized company representative or Fund Coordinator can download this fillable form via this link

The Pag-IBIG Fund said qualified members may borrow up to 80% of their total Pag-IBIG Regular Savings, which consist of their monthly contributions, their employer’s contributions, and accumulated dividends earned.

“If you have an outstanding Multi-Purpose and/or Calamity Loan, the amount of loan you will receive shall be the difference between the 80% of your total Pag-IBIG Regular Savings and the outstanding balance of your loan/s,” the FAQ read.

When should eligible members avail of the loan?

The agency said eligible borrowers must avail of the Calamity Loan within a period of 90 days from the declaration of a state of calamity.

The loan is payable within 24 months and comes with the initial payment due on the third month after the loan release.

Formally-employed members shall pay their loan amortization through a salary deduction arrangement with their employer while self-employed individuals, overseas Filipino workers, and all other individual payors may pay their amortization at any Pag-IBIG Fund branches.

DENR to issue import ban on recyclable waste

Marje Pelayo   •   August 12, 2019

Disposal of the 26 containers from Chronic Plastic Inc., Ontario, Canada at a sanitary landfill of Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. in Capas, Tarlac. (Courtesy: MCWMC)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will issue a moratorium or temporary ban on importation of recyclable waste into the country.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the moratorium will run for three months while the Department is reviewing the import procedures and regulations on such shipments.

Antiporda said the DENR is making sure that there won’t be a repeat of the incident involving the illegal entry of imported garbage from Canada and South Korea.

The official, meanwhile, is proposing for P3-M cash bond from companies that would import recyclable wastes before they are issued a permit.

The cash bond will be used should any problem occur with the imported shipment.

“Lugi ang bansa diyan dahil ang tagal naka stock diyan sa atin kung saan merong mga dapat bayaran na hindi na nabayaran, (It’s our loss if [the shipment] ends up idle while there are dues to pay),” Antiporda argued.

Meanwhile, Antiporda said the DENR might allow the importation of second hand or used electronic appliance provided that all parts will be reused.

Kapag iyan ay contaminated, iyan ay waste na. Hindi na siya recyclable, (If its contaminated then it’s already waste and is no longer recyclable),” Antiporda noted.

While the moratorium is in effect, the DENR will inspect the recycling plants of all importing firms. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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