Many OFW’s dream is to put up and build their own house where they can live out their retirement days. It is very fulfilling that as we are working abroad starts a venture that is for our own good and for our love ones because at the end of the day, we are working overseas to provide the best for them.
There is just one obstacle in building our own house specially now that the building materials are getting expensive everyday. The budget or expenses that we need is difficult to provide. There is one way to make things easier, by becoming a member of Pag-IBIG, a savings program managed by the national government.
Before the Pag-IBIG Fund Law of 2009 was introduced, OFWs were not required to register as a Pag-IBIG member. Those who wanted to join applied voluntarily through the Pag-IBIG Overseas Program (POP). This program was initiated to give OFWs an opportunity to save for their future as well as to provide them a chance to avail of housing loans.
But with the new law requiring OFWs to become a member of the Pag-IBIG Fund, how will it affect the membership of OFWs who applied under POP or the current Pag-IBIG Fund? What will happen to the contributions under POP? Will it be combined with the OFWs current savings?
Officially called the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), the PAG-IBIG fund is basically a national savings program. Filipino citizens and their employers typically make regular contributions to it for about twenty years. After this period, the beneficiary would be eligible to claim the entire amount saved, the equivalent contributions made by their employer (provided they were gainfully employed throughout the period), and the accumulated dividends.
True to its name, the HDMF or PAG-IBIG fund also provides affordable financing for Filipinos who wish to build their own homes in the future. PAG-IBIG members can file for housing loans after a certain period of time if they meet certain requirements.
Who should register with the Pag-IBIG Fund as members?
With the signing of Republic Act No. 9679, effective January 1, 2010 membership to the Fund shall be mandatory for the following:
All employees, workers, professionals, officers and companies who are compulsorily covered by the SSS and GSIS Uniformed members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Philippine National Police All members of the judiciary and constitutional commissions
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Filipinos employed by foreign-based employers, whether deployed locally or abroad.
How much is the Pag-IBIG contribution?
The initial monthly contribution is Php200.
What are the benefits of being a member of the Pag-IBIG Fund?
A Pag-IBIG member will enjoy the following benefits:
The contributions that an OFW member makes are credited to his Total Accumulated Value (TAV) or savings which are fully guaranteed by the national government.
The member’s savings earn annual dividends that are tax-free. The dividend rate varies depending on the net income of the Fund at yearend. For 2009 Pag-IBIG declared P8.5 billion in total dividends giving members a dividend rate of 5% on their savings.
Pag-IBIG savings are also portable, meaning, these remain in the name of a member even if he transfers employers, works abroad or becomes self-employed or even unemployed.
A member is entitled to borrow short-term loans offered by the Fund to help address immediate financial needs.
A member of good standing may avail of a Pag-IBIG home financing loan from the Fund with some of the lowest interest rates in the market, and repayment terms of up to 30 years. Pag-IBIG housing loans offer low monthly amortizations, making it possible for even low-salary employees to benefit from the program.
When can a Pag-IBIG member registered under the Mandatory Coverage (Pag-IBIG 1), withdraw his/her contributions?
A member may claim his Total Accumulated Value (TAV) after 20 years of membership with the Fund and after having made a total of 240 monthly contributions.
A member may also withdraw his savings before the 20-year maturity under these valid grounds:
- Permanent departure from the country
- Permanent or total physical disability
- Death of the member
- Termination from service by reason of health
- Optional withdrawal after 10 or 15 years of continuous contributions
What are the requirements to become a Pag-IBIG 1 member?
- Filled up Members Registration Form (MRF)
- Present original or photocopy of Philippine Passport / NRIC / E Pass / S Pass / Work Permit
Where can I register under the Mandatory Coverage?
- Philippine Embassy POLO Office
- Online Registration at Pag-IBIG Website
What proof should I present on applying for OEC?
- Valid Pag-IBIG Fund receipt or
- Receipt made to our accredited collecting agent / bank, see lists below.
Note: Member must present receipt of latest monthly contribution. (e.g Pag-IBIG member will get OEC for the month of July, he/she must present receipt paid for the month of July).
After payment, where can I continue my Pag-IBIG contribution?
- Remittance at any Oman UAE Exchange branch in Oman
- Remittance at Lakhoo’s, Muscat City Centre, Seeb
- Online payments at Pag-IBIG Website