PAG-IBIG FUND is giving some borrowers more time to pay their loans. — BW FILE PHOTO

RESIDENTS OF Luzon and the National Capital Region will be given a three-month payment extension to repay loans from the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) as the region has been placed under enhanced community quarantine, which has forced some businesses to shut down, leaving employees with no wages.

“Our Board of Trustees saw this as an urgent measure and immediately voted for the grant. This moratorium will help alleviate our members’ worries so that they could focus on providing for the basic necessities and safety of their families,” Pag-IBIG Fund Chairman and Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo D. del Rosario said in a statement.

Fund members eligible to apply for the moratorium are borrowers with housing, multi-purpose and calamity loans with payments due on March 16 to June 15. During the moratorium, members will not incur interest or penalties for their late payments.

The agency said they will receive loan applications after the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine which is set on April 13. By then, members can file their application at Pag-IBIG branches until June 15.

On Tuesday, Mr. Del Rosario said that other government agencies that will grant a three-month moratorium on housing and multipurpose loans also include the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., Social Housing Finance Corp., and the National Housing Authority.

He added that those who will opt to pay on time despite the grace period can still pay their dues online and through accredited payment centers.

Moreover, Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti earlier said members looking for financial assistance can file for a calamity loan.

“[W]e will do what we can to ensure that they will not be put in a difficult situation especially in trying times such as these,” Mr. Moti said in a statement on Wednesday.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday placed the entire country under a state of calamity for six months due to the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

COVID-19 has infected 193 in the country as of Wednesday noon, with casualties rising to 14 as of press time.

In 2019, Pag-IBIG Fund’s net income inched up by 4% year on year to P34.37 billion. Its assets likewise jumped by 13% to a record high P603.39 billion.

Funds disbursed for housing loans increased by 15% to P86.74 billion from P75.31 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, cash loans worth P53.83 billion were released to over 2.5 million members. — L.W.T. Noble