Pag-IBIG steps up ties with LGUs for socialized housing

By Irene R. Sino Cruz March 13,2018

The Home Mutual Development Fund (Pag-IBIG) aims to increase partnerships with local government units (LGUs) for the development of more socialized housing units, said PAG-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Acmad Rizaldy Moti.

Moti explained that private developers include socialized housing units in their projects but only for compliance, which would not fully address the need for more lower-cost housing.

The Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 requires developers to develop socialized housing areas. These areas should be at least 15 percent of the total subdivision project area or the total subdivision project cost or five percent of the condominium project area or the total condominium project cost.

He explained that developers still earn profits from socialized housing units, but these would be much lower than if they develop for the regular housing market.

LGUs would have to step in by implementing socialized housing projects themselves to address the shortage for these units, Moti explained.

Because of this, he said Pag-IBIG is targeting 10 more LGU partners to develop socialized housing projects in their communities this year.

To encourage developers to help implement socialized housing projects of LGUs, Pag-IBIG Fund will pre-approve housing loans for the LGU employees for a specific housing project, Moti said.

The Fund will then inform developers that the project has a ready set of housing loan applicants, he said.

In Cebu, Pag-IBIG Fund will be providing financing for a walk-up condo project to be built by the Lapu-Lapu City government, Moti said.

Under this project, the Lapu-Lapu City government plans to build eight walk-up condominiums for the city government employees, he added.

Aside from Lapu-Lapu City, the Cebu City government has plans to build a condo project for lease to city residents, Moti revealed.

He said they have initial talks with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and have yet to determine the details of the project, including the cost.

Initially, Moti said the mayor wants to provide an alternative affordable housing for city residents who have been renting houses at expensive rates.

He noted that this project would be similar to that implemented by the University of the Philippines-Diliman years ago when they built a condo project for lease to UP professors.

Pag-IBIG Fund has allocated almost P72 billion this year for housing loan, Moti disclosed.

He explained though that the loan takeout would depend on the number of inventories available in the market. “In terms of inventories, we are pushing developers to develop more housing projects,” Moti said. “In two year’s time, we would want to increase number of units at least to 100,000 units.”

Meanwhile, the fund announced it registered historic growth in home lending in 2017 during the Home Lending Accomplishment Report held in Cebu City Friday last week.

Last year, the housing loans serviced by Pag-IBIG Fund in the Visayas reached P9.3 billion, an increase of 39 percent over that of the 2016 figures and the highest among the regions, according to Marilene Acosta, deputy CEO for Home Lending Operations Cluster. This amount financed 8,815 units in the Visayas, Acosta added.

“Visayas showed remarkable growth in 2017 after Pag-IBIG Fund lowered its affordable housing interest rate to only 3 percent from the previous 4.5 percent per annum for low wage earners,” she explained.

Also, the fund expects more borrowers to get a housing loan because the interest rate for one year repricing under the regular housing loan program has been lowered to 5.475 percent, Acosta noted.

However, only 7 percent of the P9.3 billion or P638.5 million went to socialized housings with loans up to P450,000, she pointed out.

During Friday event, Pag-IBIG Fund also awarded top housing developers in the Visayas in recognition of the contribution of the fund’s partners and stake holders, said Fermin Sta. Teresa Jr., senior vice president for loans operations sector.

“Pag-IBIG Fund will not be successful in its performance if not for the support and trust of our partners, especially in the regions,” Sta. Teresa added.

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