The Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG targets to grow its membership base from the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) market through partnership with a non-government corporation of overseas recruitment agencies.
In a statement, Pag-IBIG on Wednesday said it has tied up with the Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc. (Pasei)to better inform potential OFWs about the services that the fund offers.
“Through the partnership, participants attending the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) conducted by Pasei are required to register with Pag-IBIG and be active Pag-IBIG members,” it added.
Pag-IBIG will set up a kiosk at the orientation seminar wherein members and prospective members can inquire about benefits that Pag-IBIG offers.
Services that Pag-IBIG members can avail of at the Pag-IBIG kiosk include registration or update of their membership, payment of their Pag-IBIG savings, Pag-IBIG loan inquiries and Pag-IBIG loyalty card application.
Darlene Marie Berberabe, Pag-IBIG president and chief executive officer, noted that OFWs are mandated by law to register as members of the fund, specifically under Republic Act 9679 or the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009.
As of June 2016, OFWs account for 27 percent or 4.4 million of the total 16.6 million Pag-IBIG members worldwide.
Berberabe noted that aside from compliance with the law, OFWs who are Pag-IBIG members will benefit from several services offered by the fund.
“We encourage our OFWs to register with Pag-IBIG, not just because it is required by law, but more important because it offers programs that are beneficial to them,” she said.
“Our savings programs give them an effective mechanism to save their hard-earned money. Our members’ savings are tax-free and government-guaranteed, and earn annual dividends at rates higher than other savings facilities. Our housing programs offer competitive interest rates, as low as 5.5 percent for the one-year repricing period.”
In 2015, housing loans borrowed by OFW Pag-IBIG members totaled P12.151 billion, almost 28 percent of the total corporate loan of P43.932 billion.
“The average housing loan take-out of an OFW was P993.44 million, higher than the corporate average of P771.57 million,” Berberabe said.
Pag-IBIG noted that members who have already been deployed to the country where they will work can continue to remit their savings with Pag-IBIG through partner collecting agents located worldwide or via credit cards issued by Visa or MasterCard.