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MECO shows key to dream house, prudent investments

Posted 2021-11-08 11:57:53

Filipinos main driver to work overseas is for a better life which includes owning that dream house.


In a recent show sponsored by Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), OFWs in Taiwan were ‘given the key’ to owning that dream house by investing in real estate properties through the various programs of Pag-IBIG Fund.


In the 05 November 2021 edition of the “MECOlive” weekly MECO Facebook program, Pag-IBIG Taipei officer Ms. Lersa Li outlined how Filipino migrants in Taiwan could avail of the agency’s housing programs. She also explained the general requirements and attendant procedures.


“So, let’s be wise and take the opportunity given by the government through our program so you can invest or own your dream house,” Li said.


MECO Taipei discusses the Pag-IBIG Housing Loan services for overseas Filipinos in Taiwan with guest speaker Ms. Lersa Li, Pag-IBIG representative in Taipei



She said that as of June 2021, Pag-IBIG Fund has 13.18 million active members worldwide, with a total asset of P699.25 billion and a Net Income of P16.11 billion.  In Taiwan alone as of September 2021, the agency has approved a total of P99 million worth of loans.


Li pointed out that Pag-IBIG housing loans offer the lowest interest rates in the market and members can avail of up to P6 million, based on the capacity to pay.


Pag-IBIG housing loans may be availed of to purchase the following: residential lot up to a maximum of 1000 square meters; residential house and lot, townhouse, or a condominium unit; improvement of house (titled under the name of the member); and refinance an existing housing loan.


To qualify, one must be an active member with current contributions and at least 24 monthly membership savings, not over 65 years old, a citizen of the Philippines, and with no previous loans that are either foreclosed, canceled, bought back, or surrendered.


With multiple housing loans now allowed by Pag-IBIG, Li said some OFWs have started investing in real estate properties.


“The value of a house appreciates over time. So, you can invest in a home that you can later sell at a higher price or offer it for rent so you can have a sustained source of income,” said Li.


What some OFWs are doing, according to Li, is to buy a property from Pag-IBIG accredited developers, pay the equity from their savings and apply for a loan for the balance.


“After the equity has been paid and the construction is completed, the property will be turned over to the buyer. He can offer it for rent to defray the monthly amortization. So basically, the house is self-liquidating,” Li explained.


In most cases, Li said the rent is higher than the amortization so the Pag-IBIG member-buyer earns extra income from the investment.


She said an average OFW in Taiwan earning an equivalent of around P30,000 monthly may avail of a loan of about P1.8 million with amortization of around P10,000 a month.


However, Li pointed out that processing of Pag-IBIG housing loan is done in the Philippines so OFWs in Taiwan have to issue a Special Power of Attorney to their representative.


Payment of loans may be via Virtual Pag-IBIG, post-dated checks, collection servicing or salary deduction and remittance agreement, payment via accredited collecting partners, or auto-debit arrangements.


“If you are paying your housing loans in Taiwan, make sure you do it one or two weeks before the due date. Likewise, you can also make additional payments on the principal to shorten the amortization period thereby reducing the interest,” Li advised.


Meanwhile, Li bared that minimum wage earners in the Philippines may avail of their Affordable Housing Loan of up to P750,000 with a subsidized interest rate and maximum monthly amortization of less than P5,000 a month.


Pag-IBIG members with existing housing loans of at least five years with no delayed payments may also avail of the Home Equity Appreciation Loan (HEAL) program. Its proceeds may be used for home improvement, livelihood, education, health, and wellness, or even in the purchase of appliances.


Li said Pag-IBIG also offers Home Saver Program that would ease the burden of delinquent borrowers and enable them to pay their existing loans.