Pag-IBIG Fund, the government's primary home financing institution, approved last year P12.15 Billion worth of housing loans for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), an increase of 12% from 2014's P10.81 Billion disbursements.
The number of OFW housing loan borrowers likewise increased by 10% to 12,232 from the 11,154 in 2014.
The borrowers are Filipino seafarers and land-based OFWs in 54 different countries. The amount is 28% of the P43.93 Billion total housing loans approved by the Fund in 2015. OFWs had P993 Thousand total average loan value during that period.
"We are happy that Pag-IBIG is able to contribute to the realization of an important dream of our modern day heroes; that is to provide decent shelter to their families," Pag-IBIG Fund Deputy Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti said, referring to the OFWs.
Data provided by Pag-IBIG showed that the seafarers have the highest number of housing loan availments in 2015, with 5,548 borrowers. Their total loan value amounted to P5.34 Billion.
On the other hand, 6,684 land-based OFWs availed of an aggregate housing loan amount of P6.81 Billion. Of this number, 1,812 OFWs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the country that hosts the biggest number of OFWs, availed of housing loans worth P1.74 Billion; while 1,718 OFWs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a combined loan amount of P1.78 Billion.
OFW membership comprises 27% or 4.4 million of the 16.6 million total Pag-IBIG members as of June this year.
Pag-IBIG housing loan offers an interest rate of as low as 5.5% for a 1-year fixed-pricing period, and a loanable amount of up to P6 Million for qualified Pag-IBIG members.
The loan may be used to purchase a residential house and lot, townhouse, or condominium unit; construction of a residential unit; and home improvement, among others.
"OFWs who are still abroad can apply for a housing loan by executing a Special Power of Attorney in favor of a representative in the Philippines who will file and process the application on his/her behalf," Mr. Moti explained.
According to Pag-IBIG Senior Vice President Marilene C. Acosta, Pag-IBIG gives importance to the needs of OFWs and their families.
"Pag-IBIG recognizes the hard work and sacrifices of our OFWs, which benefit not just their families but the country as a whole," Ms. Acosta added.
Pag-IBIG has an OFW Center providing personalized services for the OFWs and their families.
"We encourage our OFWs to avail of the services and programs of Pag-IBIG Fund. We reassure them of our commitment to support them in their efforts to prepare a decent future for their families through the acquisition of affordable homes and through prudent savings and investments," Ms. Acosta said.
Pag-IBIG currently has 23 Overseas Members Services Desk, the contact details of which can be found at http://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/contacthdmf.aspx. Interested OFWs may visit the nearest Overseas Members Services Desk in their areas.