PAG-IBIG Fund, the government’s low-cost mortgage agency, said it expanded its home construction fund to P10 billion from P2 billion to support the housing market and help revive the economy.

In a statement Saturday, Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary and head of the Pag-IBIG Fund board Eduardo D. del Rosario said its House Construction Financing Line (HCFL) has been given a P10-billion budget, well above the P2 billion originally allocated for the scheme.

The additional P8 billion was approved by the Pag-IBIG board on May 20.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved because home construction has a high multiplier effect. Not only will this be able to construct more houses to address our members’ housing needs, this would also benefit our fellow Filipinos with the jobs that the construction would generate,” Mr. Del Rosario said.

Meanwhile, Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti said home loan releases in the first four months of 2020 declined after the lockdown hampered construction projects and the completion of housing units financed by the agency’s home loans.

Mr. Moti said home loan releases in April fell to P882 million, down from P3.8 billion in March, P6.5 billion in February, and P5.5 billion in January.

“The drop in home loan releases during this period is only temporary and we expect to recover as we gradually transition to the new normal,” Mr. Moti said.

Mr. Moti said that Pag-IBIG has disbursed financing for 16,585 homes of which 16,170 or 97.5% are considered socialized housing and low-cost units.

In 2019, the agency’s home loan releases in the first quarter hit P17.2 billion.

In 2019, housing loan takeouts — eligible mortgages originated by other institutions and taken over by the fund — hit P86.74 billion, up 15%. — Luz Wendy T. Noble