DAVAO CITY -- The head of the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), more popularly known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, has brushed aside the perceived impact of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law on the cost of housing in the country.
“What’s pushing up with the price of construction materials is the exchange rate and not the TRAIN,” Pag-IBIG Fund chief executive officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti said in a press conference here on Thursday, when asked on the impact of the government’s tax reform on the housing industry.
Moti said there could be a probability that prices of houses would go up due to the increase in importation cost, particularly of construction materials.
He assured the public, however, that Pag-IBIG will not increase its interest rates on housing loans. “In the market, ours is the lowest at 3 percent for socialized housing,” he said.
The lower interest rate is in line with the President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy of making housing affordable to Pag-IBIG members and borrowers.
“We started in 2012, specifically targeted to lowering interest rates, and we continue with our commitment that the rates will become more affordable,” Moti assured.
Meanwhile, Moti said accredited home builders of Pag-IBIG Fund are pushing for the retention of their fiscal incentives for mass housing projects.
“Our developers are enjoying fiscal incentives to get tax holiday when they register with the Board of Investments,” he said.
He explained that developers get financial incentives for a certain period, depending on whether it is their first or ongoing projects.
The government gives such incentives for mass housing projects so developers will continue to build affordable housing for Filipinos.
The Pag-IBIG chief noted that the main driver of socialized housing is the developers’ required compliance with the 15-percent allocation of their projects for socialized housing to help low-wage and minimum wage earners acquire a house and lot of their own.
Pag-IBIG aims to spend a total of PHP8.873 billion by the end of the year to finance 26,709 units under socialized housing.
Moti said Pag-IBIG continues to have a strong partnership with stakeholders and 65 percent of the accounts are partner developers. (PNA)