The Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG aims to strengthen ties with overseas Filipino worker (OFW) members in Canada with the launch of the Pag-IBIG Service Desk in Canada.
Canada is home to more than 700 thousand Filipinos, including OFWs, permanent residents, and immigrants.
In a statement, Pag-IBIG said Canada ranks sixth worldwide among countries with Filipinos in terms of Pag-IBIG housing loan agreements.
As part of launching the service desk, Pag-IBIG President and CEO Atty. Darlene Marie Berberabe met with Filipino community leaders in Vancouver and Toronto to promote the programs and services that Pag-IBIG can offer them.
The Pag-IBIG service desk will be located in Toronto, Canada.
Berberabe noted that the growing number of Pag-IBIG housing loan availments from Filipinos in Canada encouraged the agency to put up a service desk in Canada.
“With the sizeable number of Filipinos in Canada and their strong demand for Pag-IBIG housing loans, we deemed it opportune to open a Pag-IBIG service desk in Canada so we can provide better access for our members,” Berberabe said.
Berberabe also met with Consul General Neil Frank Ferrer of the Philippine Consulate in Vancouver, and Consul Shirley Banquicio of the Philippine Consulate in Toronto.
“We are honored to be here with you and excited as well to share with you the products and services that the Fund offers to Pag-IBIG members all over the world,” Berberabe said.
Berberabe noted that as the number of Pag-IBIG members grew in 2015 to 15.9 million, OFW members increased to 4.4 million, accounting for 30 percent of the fund’s total members.
The Pag-IBIG president also explained that the reforms implemented by the fund in the last five years made possible the doubling of benefits, including doubling of the maximum loanable amount from P3 million to P6 million, and reducing the standard interest rate by half from 11.5 percent to its current 5.5 percent per annum.
“With Pag-IBIG’s robust financial standing and transparent fiscal management, you can be assured that your savings with Pag-IBIG is secure and grows faster. OFWs are mandatorily covered by Pag-IBIG, while Filipino immigrants and permanent residents are welcome to become voluntary members,” Berberabe said.
In line with its plans of strengthening its ties with the Canadian community, Berberabe also met with Evan Siddall, President of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), to exchange best practices in their respective agencies.
In 2015, Pag-IBIG raked in a net income of P20.52 billion and recorded P398 billion in total assets.
Pag-IBIG also declared P14.24 billion in dividends for 2015, which will be proportionately credited to the accounts of Pag-IBIG members at a dividend rate of 4.8 percent—significantly higher than the interest rates of other savings products, Berberabe pointed out.