Editorial: Pag-ibig houses

(Editorial Cartoon by Joshua Cabrera)

HERE’S one big gift to family. The State-run Pag-ibig Fund has set for public auction around 74 acquired properties on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, at its corporate tower in Cebu Business Park in Cebu City.

While this is routine auction, Rio Teves, vice president for member services operations at Pag-ibig Fund Visayas, said Cebu’s Pag-ibig hub currently has 3,285 foreclosed assets for disposal to prospective buyers.

“This is the easiest way to buy a house,” said Teves.

Buying auctioned houses, said Teves, would no longer require buyers the reservation fees and the usual cost when acquiring a brand-new house.

In the Visayas, Pag-ibig released P5.320 billion in housing loans to borrowers in the first 10 months of this year. This translates to 4,287 housing units in the region.

Teves said the agency continues to see more performing loans in recent years.

“We are now at 91 percent performing loans. Years ago, it was around 78 percent,” he said.

The loan takeout in the Visayas, covering the provinces of Cebu, Samar, Leyte and NegrosOriental, already exceeded its target by 10 percent, said Wilmer Lirazan, department manager of Pag-ibig Fund Visayas.

The takeout value is expected to hit P6 billion by the year’s end, with a target of 5,026 housing units financed this year.

Pag-ibig’s robust collection increase allowed for low lending rates, which is lowest in the market since 2017, said Lirazan. For loans of up to P6 million under its regular housing loan, interest rates stayed at 5.375 percent per year.

For members earning not more than P15,000 a month in the capital region or those earning not beyond P12,000 a month outside the capital, Pag-ibig has a subsidized rate of three percent per year.

Pag-ibig staffers tell of funny anecdotes of being driven away by dogs or owners brandishing bolos each time they visit houses that are about to be foreclosed, their residents not knowing of their options for loan restructuring.

Lirazan said the problem with some borrowers is that they are not aware of Pag-ibig programs that provide solutions to their problems.

Citizens may visit the Pag-ibig website or offices to see and inquire about available options.


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