The Philippines embassy is promoting the government-backed Pag IBIG savings and loan fund to members of the Filipino expatriate community in Qatar.
A law implemented in 2010 made participation in the fund mandatory for all Filipinos, and not just salary workers registered with the state’s social security programme. This also includes Filipinos living abroad, and the embassy took the opportunity of a concert held for the local Filipino community in Qatar to provide information and register new applicants.
Charmaine Bautista, information officer at the embassy, hailed the programme’s benefits that makes it easier for Filipino expatriates to prepare for their future before returning home.
“The benefits include retirement, a housing loan programme, emergency loan programme. What we intend do with Filipinos abroad is allow them to register, and give them a number to have integrated records of all their membership in the Philippines...so when they go back to the country they can have this membership and retire later on.”
The legal minimum contribution to the programme is 2% of income, which is 100 pesos for minimum wage earners, although participants can pay in as much as they like. All money paid in can be withdrawn from the fund at the age 60, or after 240 months of membership.
After 12 months of active membership, participants can apply for housing loans or house upgrade loans of up to 3mn pesos, at a rate of 6 to 11.5% payable after 30 years. The emergency or multi-purpose loan is at a rate of 10.5% payable in two years, with terms and conditions designed to meet the applicant’s individual situation and needs.One Filipina expatriate, who is already enrolled in the fund, said the programme was beneficial as the government helped pay for your housing loan and the amount you contributed to the fund increased the benefit you got from it.
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