December 21, 2008 06:01 PM Sunday [ journal.com.ph ]
SEN. Edgardo Angara has pressed for the strengthening of the Home Development Mutual Fund or the Pag-IBIG Fund to hurdle the global financial crisis.
He said there is a need to initiate major financial reforms amid the global financial turmoil.
Pag-IBIG Fund was coined during the time of the Minister of Human Settlements and Regulatory Commission with former First Lady Imelda Marcos as the Fund chairperson. It stands for “Pagtutulungan para sa kinabukasan: Ikaw, Ako, Industriya at Gobyerno (PAG-IBIG).”
According to Angara, the Pag-IBIG Fund Law is one of the twin measures being pushed by the Senate amid the financial crisis aside from an increase in PDIC’s deposit insurance coverage.
“We acknowledge the right of every citizen to a decent home and sufficient shelter by providing housing through mobilization of funds for shelter finance. ‘‘Notwithstanding, other national economic benefits we can derive from a stronger housing sector and integrated nationwide provident savings system,” he said.
Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, recently filed Committee Report No. 234 which provides for the strengthening of the Pag-IBIG Fund which amends Presidential Decree 1752.
The new Pag-Ibig Charter provides for the restoration of the tax exemption privilege of Pag-IBIG Fund; granting of power to Pag-IBIG Board of Trustees to set contribution rates; and adoption of a compensation plan for employees comparable to the ones prevailing in the private sector.
Angara also stressed the importance of the housing sector in terms of job generation. In the 2009 budget, housing sector receives an allocation of P5.3 billion which will pave the way for creation of 607,003 jobs.
“These domestic employment opportunities will serve our people well in the coming year, when working abroad will start losing its luster and the outsourcing jobs we currently rely on will slowly shrink,” added Angara.
The Pag-IBIG Fund is a provident savings system created under Presidential Decree 1752. It was established to motivate the employed and other earning groups to better plan and provide for their housing needs. Bernadette E. Tamayo