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HDMF eyes more payment centers in South Mindanao

Posted on 08:29 PM, January 03, 2011 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
DAVAO CITY -- The Home Development Mutual Fund would put up more payment centers in southern Mindanao so it could persuade potential members in remote areas, including those in the informal sector, to become housing fund beneficiaries.
Jose W. Banzon Jr., vice president for the Southern Mindanao Group of the Fund, said at present, the agency has failed to lure those in remote areas, including those self employed, since the existing payment centers are located in urban centers.
To be able to reach out to rural areas, the agency is looking at initially tapping pawnshops, rural banks and other intermediaries to become payment centers to collect member contributions. The agency would eventually come up with a solution to this problem by the middle of next year, said Mr. Banzon.
He said it would also be better for these people to become members because of the benefits that they could get like accessibility to multi-purpose low-cost housing loans. At present, only the two government-run banks, Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines, are conduits of the Fund in collecting from members. The SM shopping malls also collect for the agency but only for housing loan payments.
Under Republic Act 9679 passed in 2009, it is mandatory for those earning at least P1,000 a month to become members, unlike in the past when membership was just voluntary. In the southern Mindanao area, Mr. Banzon said about 2% of the members are self-employed.
The region has 546,415 members as of date, he said. -- CQF

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