Saturday, September 25, 2021

Pag-IBIG Fund eyes membership increase in Visayas

PAG-IBIG Fund continues its efforts to increase membership in the Visayas next year.

In the Visayas, the registered members reached 1.6 million, Rio Teves, vice president for Members Services Operations for Visayas and Mindanao, said during Mugstoria Ta. Mugstoria Ta is an online conversation hosted by Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard "Jonji" Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) and aired on its Facebook page.

Pag-IBIG membership is mandatory for all members of the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System, among others.

Teves said one month after employment, employers are required to register their workers in the Fund. Others who are not mandated to register as members could also apply for membership under voluntary coverage.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in Central Visayas alone, the total employed persons in 2019 was approximately 3.2 million. In Eastern Visayas, around 1.7 million persons were employed also in 2019.

The National Economic Development Authority in Western Visayas said that in July 2020, the region has 3.2-million workers with a labor force participation rate of 60.8 percent.

However, the number of employed workers is expected to have gone down this year because of the pandemic. Many workers have been displaced and many companies have either suspended operations or have shut down.

Generally, Teves said that the government sector accounts for about 70 percent of Pag-IBIG’s active members. The private sector makes up about 20 percent while self-employed individuals account for 10 percent.

This membership mix, however, depends on the area since in some areas there are more workers employed in the private sector.

Teves noted that membership in the fund is not a requirement for the issuance of business permits by local governments.

Because of this, they only get the list of businesses issued with permits so they could follow up on the membership in the fund.

“We have been encouraging non-government organizations, cooperatives and other associations (to register their workers in Pag-IBIG Fund),” he said.

Teves said Pag-IBIG members enjoy benefits. They can avail of low-interest loans such as housing loans, multi-purpose loans and calamity loans for those living in areas declared under the state of calamity. (PR)


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