Pag-IBIG: We have enough liquidity to provide loans

Credit to Author: Mayvelin U. Caraballo, TMT| Date: Thu, 28 May 2020 16:24:07 +0000

State-run Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) said on Thursday it had more than enough liquidity to provide much-needed loans for its members during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

During The Manila Times’ “Business as Usual Under the New Normal” online business forum
on Thursday, Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy Moti said “we expect a huge number of our members to go [to] our branches to avail [themselves] of calamity loans when this MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) is lifted in Metro Manila.”

The modified version of the lockdown that has been imposed on the National Capital Region and other parts of the country since mid-March is expected to end on Monday.

According to Moti, Pag-IBIG Fund has increased its budget for calamity and multipurpose loans to P60 billion, which are “more than enough” to address the surge in loan availments.

Pag-IBIG Fund can also tap its P65-billion total investment fund, which are mostly placed in government securities, he said.

Moti also said members’ contributions, which would be remitted by employers, would also boost his firm’s liquidity.

“As a preventive action, [I asked] our finance and treasury…to hold on to cash and near cash in the meantime, knowing that there is going to be a huge demand from our members. So we’re pretty good in terms of liquidity,” he added.

As of the end of 2019, Pag-IBIG Fund has 14.69 million active members. Collections from them, however, reached only P12.71 billion in the first quarter of the year, 1.08 percent short of its target of P12.85 billion for the period.

Latest data also showed that in April alone, collections dropped by 68 percent to about P920 million.

The Pag-IBIG Fund chief said the firm would retain its current interest rates on loans as long as it does not see the need to borrow.

“In 2018, we announced the lowest [interest rate] at 5.375 percent with [a] 3-percent subsidized rate for minimum-wage earners, so that’s below market,” Moti added.

“Rates for [the] Pag-IBIG Fund will remain for as long as we don’t borrow from the market. And based on our projections — we just finished our stress test — we won’t borrow this year, so that’s a good thing.”

Last year, Pag-IBIG Fund posted a record-high P603.39 billion in total assets.