Reduced rates,housing bonanza for Dabawenyos

-Loan interest rate down to 6%, lowest in Pag-IBIG history
-P400,000-housing unit for only P2,400 monthly amortization

HUNDREDS of thousands of families, including some 470, 000 members in Southern Mindanao of the Home Development Mutual Fund (HMDF), more popularly known as Pag-IBIG Fund, will benefit from two positive developments in the housing sector.

The bonanza includes the reduction of interest rates in Pag-IBIG loans and the implementation of Republic Act No. 9507 establishing a socialized and low-cost housing loan restructuring and condonation program.

Jose W. Banzon Jr., Pag-IBIG Fund vice president for Southern Mindanao operations, told business reporters the Fund is now offering several new loan packages with reduced interest.

Accredited developers identified
For the convenience of housing borrowers, Pag-IBIG has also identified seven accredited developers who are offering the low-interest packages.

They are Kisan Lu (Santiago Villas), Foothills Realty (Samantha Homes in Bago), Primeland Properties (Wellspring Highlands, Vista del Rio Village, and Nakayama Village), Davao Joyful Realty (Victor’s Executive Homes), Uraya Land Development Inc. (Elenita Homes and Villa de Mercedes), 8990 Housing Development Corporation (Deca Homes-Cabantian and Deca Homes-Mintal), and LS Properties (Don Lorenzo Homes). Except for Nakayama Village in Digos City, all the housing projects are located in Davao City.

Banzon said Kisan Lu, which developed Gulf View Executive Homes at Lower Rapnaga, is offering a P400,000-housing package at an interest rate of 6 percent or a monthly amortization of P2,398.20 instead of the old P2,661.21.

On the other hand, Foothills is building homes at P500,000 at an interest rate of 7 percent or an amortization of P3,326.51 a month.

The reduced interest rate program is part of the P43-billion Pag-IBIG Fund share of the government’s national stimulus package of which P2.4 billion will go to Southern Mindanao, he said.

Lowest interest rate so far
He added that “six percent is the lowest interest rate ever prescribed by the government on low-cost housing.” In the past, it was nine percent.

The housing official said that the interest reduction program is aimed at increasing the Fund’s loan availment which stood at only 12 percent against Pag-IBIG membership of 470,000 in southern Mindanao.

“Of the 12 percent who availed themselves of housing loans, 18 percent are in arrears,” he said.

In Davao City, alone, he said, 4,000 borrowers were in arrears and of these, 1,127 have been foreclosed.

At the same time, the Pag-IBIG official bared that the newly approved RA 9507 took effect last March 16 for implementation by Pag-IBIG and other government financing institutuions (GFIs) during the next 18 months.

Who can avail of condonation?
Banzon said that if the original borrowers are no longer around, their legal heirs and successors-in-interest can apply for loan condonation and restructuring.

Those who have availed themselves of previous penalty condonation and restructuring are also eligible to apply.

The other favorable features of the new condonation law are:
–no processing fee;
–no down payment;
–full condonation of accumulated penalties/ surcharges;
–condonation of portion of accumulated interest;
–uncondoned interest is non-interest bearing and shall be paid in equal monthly amortization during the term of restructured loan;
–interest rate of the restructured loan is the original interest rate or 12 percent whichever is lower;
–maximum term of 30 years;
–discount on interest for prompt payment;
–applicant’s savings/contributions with PAG-IBIG Fund may be used to update his/her loan obligation; and foreclosed accounts covered by the program provided one-year redemption period has not yet lapsed.

by Antonio M. Ajero