CONTRARY to its performance in 2014, the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG Fund missed its target for housing loans in 2015.

Official data presented by Pag-IBIG Fund Visayas business development department manager Rio Teves showed the actual loan takeout for housing last year stood at P4.9 billion, which is five percent below the P5.2 billion target.

The housing loan takeouts would be used to fund 5,653 homes. This is 30 percent below the target of 8,126 houses set.

The 2015 performance ran contrary to how Pag-IBIG Fund Visayas performed in 2014. At that time, Pag-IBIG Fund Visayas exceeded the 2014 housing loan goal by 130.5 percent. The state-run corporation released P4.16 billion in housing loans, higher that the target set at P3.19 billion.

The 2014 housing loan value was used to construct 4,762 houses in the Visayas.

Pag-IBIG Visayas covers the areas of Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu North, Cebu South, and Tacloban City.

Teves said the low availment of loans from Tacloban pulled down the 2015 performance. Out of the P1.2 billion housing loan allocation for Tacloban, only P210 million was used, which is equivalent to 328 houses instead of the 2,761 target.

“Not a lot of people availed,” Teves said. The official cited problems like the absence of land titles in Tacloban, one of the requirements to avail of a Pag-IBIG loan. Many of these were washed away or damaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

Most likely, Teves said, people in Tacloban benefitted from socialized housing projects that were given to them for free.

Meanwhile, in Cebu, the amount of loan releases reached P2.78 billion, more than half of the total amount released in the Visayas. This represents 2,896 houses.

This year, Pag-IBIG is targeting to release P5.82 billion worth of housing loans.

Teves said the interest rate will remain at 6.5 percent under a three-year fixed-pricing scheme. However, he said this might go down this year, citing reasons like lower operational cost and reduction in the hiring of human resources.