THE HOME Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) on Wednesday said labor and employer groups are backing its move to increase the three-decades old P100 monthly savings rate of members.

“The low interest rates of our home loans make home ownership within reach of our members, so much so that the availment of our home loans has grown tremendously. And for us to continue financing the growth in home loans of our members under such low rates, there is a need to increase our members’ P100 monthly savings,” Eduardo D. del Rosario, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees, said in a statement.

Mr. Del Rosario said they have met with labor unions, OFW nongovernment organizations (NGOs), employer groups, and other stakeholders to seek their views on the Pag-IBIG Fund’s plan to increase the membership savings rate to P200 a month by 2021. The P100 monthly savings rate has been unchanged for the last three decades.

Among the groups consulted were the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA), Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa GOCCs at GFIs (KAMAGGFI), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), the Filipino Migrant Workers Group, OFW NGOs, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP).

“As we expect demand to remain strong with growth at around 15% annually in the coming years, we need to find additional sources of funds to sustain the low loan interest rates we currently offer to our members. Our proposal is to adjust the members’ savings rate to P200 per month by 2021, which will be matched by an equivalent amount by their employers,” Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti.

Mr. Moti said the adjustments will provide the agency additional funds to address its loan demand which will allow interest rates on its home loans and calamity loan to remain low at least until 2024. — BML