The Philippines, being situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Super Typhoon Egay, a powerful tropical cyclone that struck the country, left a trail of destruction in its wake. With lives disrupted and properties damaged, the affected communities faced the arduous task of rebuilding their lives. In the aftermath of such calamities, the importance of financial aid and support becomes paramount.
One such pillar of financial assistance is the Pag-IBIG Fund, a government-owned and controlled corporation established to provide socialized housing programs and short-term loans to Filipino workers. In response to the devastating impact of Super Typhoon Egay in the Ilocos Region, Pag-IBIG Fund stepped up its efforts to alleviate the financial burden faced by its members. By offering the Calamity Loan Program, the agency aims to extend a helping hand to those grappling with the aftermath of the disaster.
Extending a Helping Hand
Mervin Pereda, the dedicated Ilocos Region area head of Pag-IBIG Fund, revealed the agency’s commitment to assist members affected by Super Typhoon Egay. Residents of Dagupan City, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur, where the state of calamity was declared, were eligible to apply for the short-term loan program to receive immediate financial aid.
A Sizeable Budget for Relief
In recognition of the magnitude of the calamity and the number of affected members, Pag-IBIG Fund allocated a substantial budget of P1.7 billion for the Calamity Loan Program. This financial provision aimed to cater to approximately 220,000 members in the Ilocos Region. As part of their strategic approach, the budget was allocated to specific branches to ensure efficient disbursement. Members from Dagupan City had access to P400 million, while P150 million was made available for Ilocos Norte Branch members. Additionally, the Vigan Branch was allocated P220 million to cater to its members.
Accessing Financial Aid
For members to be eligible for the Pag-IBIG Calamity Loan, they must have a minimum of 24 months’ savings under the Pag-IBIG Regular Savings. This measure ensures that the financial assistance reaches those who have already made contributions to the fund, providing them with a safety net during challenging times. Furthermore, qualified members are entitled to borrow up to 80% of their total Pag-IBIG Regular Savings. These savings consist of their monthly contributions, their employer’s contributions, and the accumulated dividends earned.
Competitive Interest Rates
One of the most appealing features of the Pag-IBIG Calamity Loan is its low-interest rate, which is set at just 0.495% per month. This competitive interest rate distinguishes the Pag-IBIG Fund’s program from other available options in the market. By keeping the interest rate at an affordable level, the agency aims to make the repayment process more manageable for members while they recover from the aftermath of the disaster.
Flexible Repayment Options
Pag-IBIG Fund recognizes the diversity of its members’ financial situations and offers flexible repayment options for the Calamity Loan. Members can choose to repay the loan within a period of two years (24 months) or three years (36 months). This flexibility allows members to tailor their repayment plan according to their financial capacity, ensuring that they can comfortably repay the loan without undue financial strain.
Time-Sensitive Application Process
To expedite the distribution of financial aid, Pag-IBIG Fund established a time-sensitive application process for the Calamity Loan. Members are allowed to apply within a 90-day window from the declaration of a state of calamity by the Sangguniang Bayan of their respective areas. This prompt response ensures that affected members can quickly access the necessary funds to begin rebuilding their lives and communities.
Loan Amount Calculation
To ensure fairness and transparency, the loan amount calculation is based on clear guidelines. If a member has an outstanding Multi-Purpose and/or Calamity Loan, the amount they will receive under this program is the difference between 80% of their total Pag-IBIG Regular Savings and the outstanding balance of their existing loan. This calculation method aims to provide the most appropriate financial assistance tailored to each member’s unique situation.
Multiple Application Channels
Pag-IBIG Fund endeavors to make the application process as convenient as possible for its members. To facilitate easy access to the Calamity Loan, members have various application channels to choose from:
- Over-the-counter transactions: Members can visit the nearest Pag-IBIG branch, such as the 2/F BHF Family Plaza in Mayombo District, Dagupan City, or the Alaminos Member Services Office at 2/F Old Legislative Bldg., located in front of Alaminos City Hall, Alaminos City.
- Online filing via Virtual Pag-IBIG: Members can conveniently submit their loan applications online. To do so, they must prepare the following requirements – a filled-out Calamity Application Form, a signed certificate of net pay (attached to the application form), one valid identification (ID), Loyalty Card Plus, and a selfie holding the valid ID and Loyalty Card Plus.
- Through pick-up of Lingkod Pag-IBIG: For members who prefer a more personalized touch, they can schedule a pick-up date for their application documents by contacting the Pag-IBIG office.
Proactive Member Support
Understanding that members may have inquiries or need assistance throughout the application process, Pag-IBIG Fund has established a dedicated support line. Members may call Pag-IBIG Fund Dagupan Branch at (075) 522-4467 or 0995-782-9636 to seek clarification and guidance regarding the Calamity Loan programs. This proactive approach showcases Pag-IBIG Fund’s commitment to providing exceptional service to its members during times of crisis.
Natural disasters like Super Typhoon Egay can inflict severe economic hardships on affected communities. In such trying times, financial assistance becomes crucial to help individuals and families rebuild their lives. Pag-IBIG Fund’s Calamity Loan Program exemplifies the agency’s dedication to providing relief to its members during these challenging circumstances.
With its competitive interest rates, flexible repayment options, and convenient application channels, the program stands as a beacon of hope and support for those who have been affected by this devastating typhoon. By extending a helping hand, Pag-IBIG Fund reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding the welfare of its members and contributing to the nation’s resilience in the face of adversity.
Source: Philippine Information Agency