MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/31 August)—With an outstanding loan portfolio of P468 million in Bukidnon, the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig Fund) has opened a full service branch here on Thursday, seven years after it put up an extension office to serve its members.
Lawyer Darlene Marie B. Berberabe, Pag-ibig Fund chief executive officer, said the Malaybalay branch is the 49th in the country and part of their campaign to provide bigger, faster and better fund services for members.
Bukidnon’s portfolio includes short term loans at P378 million and around P90 million for housing loans, said Ferdinand Saniel, manager of Pag-ibig Cagayan de Oro branch, where Malaybalay branch was carved out.
In the 1990s, Pag-ibig opened a one-person service desk at the provincial capitol operating every Thursday.
Berberabe said they are targeting to establish a total of 83 branches nationwide to be more accessible to their 12.7 million members.
She added the agency is partnering with the banking sector and telecommunications companies to make payments easier and faster.
Berberabe said that members can now loan a maximum of P6 million from P3 million last year, although premium contributions remain the same.
She added the agency also cut the interest rate from 11.5 percent to 7.89 percent, and as low as 4.5 percent for minimum wage income earners.
Berberabe said Mindanao accounts for P6.7 billion of its P46 billion housing loan exposure and about P5.5 billion of its short-term loan portfolio.
Saniel told MindaNews Bukidnon now has a total of 60,000 members, about the same as the membership in Iligan City.
He said they are expecting the membership in the province to triple with the conversion of the extension office into a branch, which would cut the release of checks for loan applications from five days to one.
Saniel said that with the establishment of a branch here, Pag-ibig Fund is negotiating with establishments like grocery stores for membership discounts to its employees.
He noted that the rising trend of housing loans in Bukidnon, both institutional and individual, shows that realty development in the province is bullish.
Saniel said that Pag-ibig Fund has approved the 190-unit Phase 4 housing project of the provincial government worth P15 million, which is separate from the P90 million housing loan portfolio he cited earlier.
Lydia Fortaleza, Malaybalay branch officer-in-charge, said they are looking to open service desks in Valencia City and Manolo Fortich to be more accessible to members there. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)