Press Release
June 5, 2009

New PagIBIG Fund law passes

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Friday lauded the Senate and the House of Representatives action following the passage of the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009, also known as the Pag-IBIG Fund.

The Majority Leader said the Congress approval of the new law on Pag-IBIG Fund will "help over 1.5 million Filipinos who are renting houses to better plan for their housing needs."

"The measure has been repeatedly introduced in the last four Congresses. It usually passes the approval of the House but remains stalled on Second Reading at the Senate in the last four Congresses."

"Finally we made it. The new Pag-IBIG Fund Law has been adopted by both Houses. The House of Representatives has agreed to adopt the Senate version of the bill and came up with the law. It is now awaiting the signature of the President," Zubiri said.

"The new Pag-IBIG Fund Law provides for an integrated nationwide provident savings system and housing through mobilization of funds for shelter finance."

Among the significant provision of the Act includes the power of the Board of Trustees to increase the monthly contributions similar to the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS).

Section 7 of the Act states that the "maximum monthly compensation to be used in computing employee and employer contributions shall not be more than P5,0000 provided that the monthly maximum compensation may be fixed from time to time by the Board of Trustees through adopted rules and regulations."

The amended Act also provides members the option to withdraw his or her contribution after 15 years of continuous membership similar to the "optional retirement in the government service"

It likewise retained the provision allowing the Board of Trustees of Pag-IBIG to "invest not less than 70 percent of its investible funds to housing programs."

The new Act also restored the tax-exemption provided by the Republic Act 7742 to Pag-IBIG Fund and all its assets and properties.

"The tax exemption status of the Fund will free around P2 billion annually that can be invested for more housing projects, and can be lend to enabling borrowers," Zubiri said.

"The tax exemption status of the Fund will free around P2 billion annually that can be invested for more housing projects, and can be loaned out to borrowers," Zubiri said.

The Pag-IBIG Fund Law likewise instituted provisions to protect employees against corrupt employers who habitually fail to remit employees' contributions and employers' share in the Pag-IBIG contributions.

Section 23 of the Act states that failure of the employers to remit their (employers') contributions will not prohibit employees from obtaining the necessary benefits due them. However, in cases where an employer refuses or neglects to pay their (employers') contributions, the same will be collected by the Pag-IBIG Fund in the same manner that taxes are collected under the National Internal Revenue Code.

Zubiri said "I hope the plight of our kababayan living in rented houses and don't have their own homes will be addressed."

Meanwhile, Mr. Jaime Fabiana, newly appointed president and chief executive officer of Pag-IBIG expressed gratitude to the decisive leadership of the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Edgardo Angara and to the Majority Leader, the principal author of the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009, for its speedy passage.

Fabiana said he considered the early passage of the Pag-IBIG Fund Law as a "good luck start" of his tenure as he was just sworn in June 1.

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