Pag-IBIG officials liable for alleged P33-M loan scam – COA

MANILA, Philippines – Thirteen officials of the Pag-IBIG Fund Regional Office 8 were held liable by the Commission on Audit for an alleged P33 million loan scam from 2007 to 2009.

State auditors found that P33.189 million in loans went to dummy borrowers after several Pag-IBIG members complained in 2009 of being charged for payment and interest on housing loans that they never applied for.

In 2006, businessman Ray P. Zialcita, developer of a subdivision in Southern Leyte, was able to draw a P20 million developmental loan from Pag-IBIG fund under a scheme where he was allowed to receive, evaluate, pre-process, and approve the housing loan applications of member-borrowers.

Of the 79 loan accounts under Zialcita, auditors found 47 of them to be fraudulent.

When the questionable loans were discovered, Zialcita claimed that it was one of his employees who was behind the scam, paying officemates to sign the dummy loan applications.

The COA, in its decision, also held Zialcita liable. The COA is asking the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Zialcita and the following officials of Pag-IBIG Regional Office 8:

COA said the Pag-IBIG officials should have inspected the properties and validated each borrower.

“The amount of P33,189,000 corresponding to the loan released to dummy-borrowers was disallowed in audit for being an irregular disbursement of Pag-IBIG Funds. Both the developer and the HDMF officials are liable,” the decision said. – Lian Buan/Rappler.com