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GSIS targeting more housing loans

by Elaine R. Alanguilan
[ manilastandardtoday.com ] May 19, 2011
THE Government Service Insurance System on Wednesday said it was keen on lending up to P5 billion for housing this year through the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund.
GSIS president Robert Vergara said the state-run pension fund was now in talks with Pag-IBIG, the state-run housing agency, to course its lending through it.
“We made P1 billion in housing loans last year. That’s really a small amount, and we can really do so much more but we’re not competitive,” he told reporters.
He said working through a strong partner such as the Pag-IBIG Fund would make a difference.
“If we partner with these strong agencies, it is possible that we will be lending more than a billion pesos a year,” Vergara said.
“I think as a starting shot, we can probably make P5 billion available to them.”
Vergara said government employees borrowing P500,000 to P700,000 from Pag-IBIG paid only 7.5-percent interest at most.
“Our loan for housing attracts an interest rate of 8 percent, so we’re not even competitive,” Vergara said. “And we’re not even making money at 8 percent.”
Vergara said the pension fund had suspended its direct-home lending because it was not able to run it properly, but it was now increasing the amount of funds available for housing through Pag-IBIG.
“We don’t have credit officers. We also don’t provide any support to borrowers,” he said.
“Taking out a housing loan is one of the more important decisions people make, and we don’t do any counseling to tell people to study this. There is no support or counseling provided by GSIS primarily because we are not really a housing organization.”
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