ATENEO DE NAGA UNIVERSITY
INSTITUTE OF POLITICS
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THE PAG-IBIG FUND ISSUE
Several bills were filed in the Senate and House of Representatives calling for the creation of a Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD).
The said bill aims to address, among others, the housing problems in the country as well as the overlap in the function of some agencies connected to the housing sector in general.
Current version of the bill now being considered in the House of Representatives is House Bill No. 01300 entitled Omnibus Housing and Urban Development Act. Among the salient features of the bill is the creation of a Department of Housing and Urban Development, attachment of various housing agencies to this department, and the creation of a One Hundred Billion Pesos (P100B) Centralized Home Buyer Financing Program.
This bill however is met with mixed reaction from various sectors. Some groups reject it outright while others propose specific amendments on various areas of concerns.
Among the more active and persistent advocacy group included those who are opposing the attachment of the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-Ibig Fund to the proposed DHUD. While indirectly appreciating the premise and intentions of the bill, the group composed mainly of Pag-ibig Fund members, raise the following arguments against specific provisions in HB 01300:
I. On the attachment of Pag-ibig Fund to the proposed DHUD (Section 18) - (1)Pag-ibig Fund is provident in nature; (2) Pag-ibig Fund is not a housing agency; (3) fund administered by Pag-ibig is private in character, credited to the name of the contributing members; and (4) Pag-ibig Fund is not owned by the government.
II. On the Centralized Home Financing Program (Section 31) - The obligations projected to be incurred by Pag-ibig Fund in issuing the housing bonds to the donor agencies may jeopardize its financial stability and ultimately, members’ contributions.
These arguments are raised amidst growing fear that the Pag-ibig fund may be vulnerable to and even used for political considerations (specially in the 2004 national elections) once it is attached with the proposed Department of Housing and Urban Development. At the same time, there is lingering doubt on the capacity of the government to handle resources entrusted to it, as demonstrated by the bad experience with the Government Service Insurance Service (GSIS) and the Social Security System (SSS).
As this issues are being raised, however, HB 01300 is being pushed for approval as part of the priority legislative measures of the Macapagal administration.
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