Pag-IBIG Fund membership in Visayas seen to increase

The Pag-IBIG Fund expects an increase in its membership in the Visayas next year.

The registered members in the Visayas have reached to 1.6 million, Rio Teves, vice president for Members Services Operations for Visayas and Mindanao, said during “Mugstoria Ta,” an online conversation hosted by Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.

Teves said one month after employment, employers are required to register their workers in Pag-IBIG. Others who are not mandated to register as members could also apply for membership under voluntary coverage.

Pag-IBIG membership is mandatory for all members of the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in Central Visayas alone, the total employed persons in 2019 were around 3.2 million and 1.7 million in Eastern Visayas.

The National Economic Development Authority in Western Visayas said in July 2020, the region has 3.2 million workers with a labor force participation rate of 60.8 percent.

However, the number of employed workers is expected to have gone down this year because of the pandemic since many workers have been displaced and companies have either suspended operations or have shut down.

Teves said the government sector accounts for about 70 percent of Pag-IBIG’s active members. The private sector makes up about 20 percent while self-employed individuals account for 10 percent.

This membership mix, however, depends on the area since in some areas there are more workers employed in the private sector.

Teves noted that membership in Pag-IBIG is not a requirement for the issuance of business permits by local governments.

Because of this, they only get the list of businesses issued with permits so they could follow up on the membership in the Pag-IBIG.

“We have been encouraging non-government organizations, cooperatives, and other associations (to register their workers in Pag-IBIG Fund),” he said.

Teves said Pag-IBIG members enjoy benefits such as low-interest loans.*

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