Shelter for all: SEDPI partners with Pag-IBIG Fund to benefit more micro-entrepreneurs

“SEDPI’s partnership with Pag-IBIG Fund is a step closer to the organization’s vision of financial empowerment and financial inclusion for Filipinos,” Vince Rapisura, SEDPI President said when asked how the partneship is relevant to nation building.

The organization’s members consist of self-employed individuals in the informal sector with need for improved social protection and access to decent and affordable housing. This led SEDPI to agree to act as the conduit through which Pag-IBIG Fund membership shall be provided to its members.

“With this collaboration, decent and affordable housing is now reachable to all SEDPI members who belong to low income groups in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur, two of the poorest provinces in the Philippines,” Vince Rapisura added.

Home Development Mutual Fund more popularly known as Pag-IBIG fund seeks to improve the quality of life of Filipinos by providing them sufficient shelter, an integrated nationwide provident savings, and housing through the mobilization of funds for shelter finance. It is mandatory for all Filipinos with monthly income of at least PhP1,000 to become Pag-IBIG Fund members. In addition, it is not only for formally-employed but also for self-employed and those from the informal sector.

SEDPI recognizes the value of Pag-IBIG Fund membership and the benefits of savings and home financing it provides for its members. Moreover. Pag-IBIG Fund and SEDPI agreed to jointly work in providing Pag-IBIG Fund membership for the self-employed members of SEDPI towards providing them access to provident savings and decent and affordable shelter financing through Pag-IBIG Fund’s programs.

Information dissemination

Since the agreement has been in place, Pag-IBIG Fund and SEDPI have been assisting each other in disseminating information and increasing awareness on the benefits of Pag-IBIG Fund membership. Pag-IBIG Fund has rendered orientations for the members, personnel and officers of SEDPI and has provided information materials such as leaflets, posters, tarpaulins, audio-visual presentation files and similar items on Pag-IBIG Fund membership and benefits.

SEDPI, on the other hand, displayed tarpaulins, posters and leaflets on Pag-IBIG Fund membership and benefits in conspicuous areas of its units and areas. It distributed and made available Pag-IBIG Fund program leaflets during its regular meetings and provided a timeslot in its meetings for the playing of audio-visual presentations on Pag-IBIG Fund membership and benefits, whenever feasible. SEDPI also made its own promotional materials for Pag-IBIG membership, which comes in various forms — articles, videos, etc.

Pag-IBIG also became part of SEDPi’s Social Welfare Protection Program (SWePP), a consolidated microinsurance and social security program which aims to provide security and financial safety net to members through adoption of various insurance schemes.

Interested members must fill out the SWePP application form at the SEDPI MF office or during SWePP orientation programs in community gatherings and events. SWePP with Pag-IBIG is available to SEDPI members who are existing Pag-IBIG members.

SEDPI conducted training events to promote Pag-IBIG locally and abroad. In partnership with Pag-IBIG Fund, approximately 1,500 microenterprises attended the events promoting Pag-IBIG in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur. Abroad, 2.230 participants, mostly domestic helpers, attended financial literacy training that promotes Pag-IBIG in Macau, Singapore, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. The events became an opportunity to encourage Filipinos to patronize Pag-IBIG and realize the benefits it offers.

Registration and membership

Pag-IBIG Fund and SEDPI also assisted each other in the membership registration of SEDPI’s members to Pag-IBIG Fund. To facilitate this, Pag-IBIG Fund trained SEDPI’s authorized representatives in the membership registration process and conducted membership registration for SEDPI’s members.

In the agreement, Pag-IBIG Fund is to provide SEDPI members of their statement of membership savings (contributions) which include their contributions and the corresponding dividends earned annually.

Pilot housing project

A very exciting part of this partnership between SEDPI and Pag-IBIG Fund is the pilot housing project. SEDPI shall undertake a pilot housing project to benefit qualified SEDPI members. SEDPI shall provide or identify land that can be developed as its housing project for its member-beneficiaries capable of paying housing loan amortizations and who possess good moral character.

SEDPI will identify qualified members based on eligibility requirements provided in the Pag-IBIG Fund’s housing loan program and enter into a collection servicing agreement with Pag-IBIG Fund for the collection of the monthly housing loan amortization of the member-beneficiaries.

For its part, Pag-IBIG Fund shall extend individual housing loan to qualified SEDPI member-beneficiaries of the proposed housing project. It shall also enter into a collection servicing agreement with SEDPI for the collection of the monthly housing loan amortization of their member-beneficiaries and assist SEDPI in coordinating with other key shelter agencies for the successful implementation of the proposed housing project.

In 2019, SEDPI already procures a small lot in Rosario, Agusan del Sur that will serve as the pilot site. It is cureently undergoing negotiation for another lot in municipality of Veruela in the same province.

Advantages of the partnership

For those with maximum monthly compensation of PhP5,000, monthly savings with Pag-IBIG Fund is PhP100. With the partnership between SEDPI and Pag-IBIG Fund, however, members of both institutions only need to pay PhP20 per month or PhP5 per week. Contributions are paid during weekly group meetings held within the barangay where the members live; it saves them costs in visiting the nearest Pag-IBIG Fund branch, which is one town away, at best.

As members, they gain access to Pag-ibig Funds affordable housing program. This gives them the opportunity to avail housing loan as much as PhP450,000 with only 3% interest per annum. This loan amount will already give them enough funds for purchase of lot or house and lot, house construction, or home improvement which can be paid up to thirty (30) years.

Milestones and prospects

At present, SEDPI was able to register more than 2,500 member-beneficiaries with contributions amounting to around PhP400,000. SEDPI has now also already submitted several applications from its members for the availment of various Pag-IBIG benefits.

With the continued support of Pag-IBIG Fund, SEDPI anticipates more of its members and even non-members to be encouraged to become member of both Pag-IBIG and SEDPI. The organization looks forward to more microentrepreneurs benefiting from the programs of Pag-IBIG Fund.

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