MANILA, Philippines – The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) will implement safeguards to protect the public from housing scams, Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Thursday, March 20.
Binay, Pag-IBIG chair, said in a statement that the safeguards would prevent another Globe Asiatique scam, which allegedly stolen billions of pesos from government and victimized aspiring home owners through ghost buyers and double sales.
“We are studying this well to prevent a recurrence,” Binay said in Filipino after the groundbreaking of a housing project in Novaliches, Quezon City.
Pag-IBIG chief executive officer Darlene Marie Berberabe said the agency has begun implementing measures. There is an internal ombudsman that regularly checks all of the Fund’s transactions.
Berberabe added that after the discovery of the Globe Asiatique scam, Pag-IBIG abolished the “Window 1 scheme,” which was allegedly used by Globe Asiatique owner Delfin Lee to obtain P6.6 billion in loans from the agency through ghost borrowers. (SC: Pursue raps vs Delfin Lee, co-accused)
Window 1 was the express lane for real estate developers with good track records that enabled them to fast-track loan applications.
Berberabe said Pag-IBIG has replaced Window 1 with the Employer’s Accreditation Program. Under the program, the country’s top employers are offered accreditation to process housing loans for their employees.
The accreditation gives employers faster access to Pag-IBIG’s housing services such as housing loan prequalification and home or housing needs matching, and enables faster loan processing time.
Pag-IBIG has also introduced a special lane in select branches for loans worth P1 million and above for faster processing, and implemented the Affordable Housing Program, which offers subsidized rates for the first 10 years for members with a maximum gross monthly income of P17,500.
Under the program, loans up to P400,000 have an interest rate of 4.5%, while loans from P400,001 to P750,000 have a 6.5% interest. At the end of the 10-year period of subsidized rates, the borrower will have the option to pick the re-pricing period of his choice. – Rappler.com