Stupidity In Pag-Ibig
Emma Linon Faria allowed the developers to receive housing loan applications and process them. Faria is the officer in-charge of the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig Fund).
With this new system, according to Faria, Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. was able to get billions of pesos from the Pag-Ibig Fund for its projects in Pampanga. It was done through the funds "express lane" program.
This is her revelation made during the Senate Finance committee hearing this week. The hearing dealt on the salaries of officials and employees in the government owned and controlled corporations. However, she ended up with tongue lashing from the senate committee members.
The Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp., a land developer has been found to have used spurious Pag-Ibig borrowers to finance its Xevera projects in Mabalacat, Pampanga. It has also another project in Bacolor, Pampanga.
According to Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, to allow developers to receive housing loan applications and process them involve a conflict of interest. Sen. Osmeña is the chair of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies.
"It is Globe Asiatique owner’s own self interest to make sure he makes the sale regardless of whether he makes payment to Pag-Ibig or not", Osmeña pointed out. "Haven’t you learned your lesson? You guys, you deliberately did this?" Osmeña asked.
Another senator, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile suspected, "Globe Asiatique appeared to have been a favored developer, (given) a treatment that allowed the company to receive billions of (pesos) from Pag-Ibig".
Sen. Osmeña believes officers in Pag-Ibig who allowed Globe Asiatique to receive housing loan applications and to process them must be put in jail. It was absolute stupidity, said Osmeña.
Pag-ibig, on June 20, 2008, accredited Globe Asiatique as developer of what they called Other Working Groups (OWG) which means "individuals who have regular source of income but no employer – employee relationship".
Upon learning that former vice president Noli de Castro cleared Globe Asiatique inspite of the information that Globe Asiatique has used dead claimants and not eligible borrowers to obtain payments from Pag-Ibig, Osmeña became skeptical.
Sen. Drilon asked, how could Pag-Ibig allow fake borrowers to carry out the fraudulent scheme?
The money in Pag-Ibig comes from all employees covered by the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System. The money is the people’s money collected as authorized by Republic Act No. 9679 or the Home Development Fund Law. It is tax exempt.
For employees whose income is P1,500 and below per month he contributes one (1) percent or P15 of it while his employer contributes two (2) percent or P30. On the whole an employee contributes P45 monthly to Pag-Ibig Fund.
An employee whose monthly minimum salary is above P1,500 per month, he contributes two (2) percent while his employer contributes another two (2) percent.
After an employee has completed paying 240 monthly contributions or 20 years payments, he may opt to withdraw his contributions.
Employee upon his retirement, disability or permanent departure from the country can also withdraw his savings from the fund.
For those members who had paid at least 24 monthly contributions, they can avail of short term loans. They can also borrow from the fund to finance the acquisition of house and lot provided he is below 65 years old at the time of the application and passed background check and employment/business check conducted by the developer and Pag-ibig.
With those incidents and the treatment Pag-Ibig officers gave to Globe Asiatique, is there sufficient amount of money left for the members to be withdrawn on the date of their retirement? Is there enough money for the short term, and housing loans of the real members to the fund? Globe Asiatique maybe one of the many Pag-Ibig developers which was given special treatment.
As Sen. Osmeña asked, "haven’t you learned your lesson from the past". He added, "It’s absolute stupidity".
"Hope springs eternal". May Pres. Aquino entrusts public finance to people with good and clean hands. May he select qualified, competent, and honest people to manage all the governmental affairs. /MP