The Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees officially approved the postponement of the agency’s contribution hike this year, citing the continuing recovery of both workers and business owners from the pandemic, its top officials announced Monday.

Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, who heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees, said they unanimously approved the recommendation of the Pag-IBIG Fund Management to defer the hike in the monthly contributions of its members in 2023 — affirming pronouncements made by the agency earlier this year — and move the implementation by one year to January 2024.

The deferment also applies to the share of their employers.

“This is in line with the call of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to alleviate the financial burden of our fellow Filipinos due to the prevailing socio-economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” Acuzar said.

In 2019, agency officials approved the increase of its members’ monthly contributions after obtaining the concurrence of stakeholders to implement a planned contribution increase in 2021.

During that time, the agency saw the increase necessary as it projected that the amount of loans disbursed will eventually outpace the total collections from both loan payments and members’ contributions.

However, recognizing the effects of the pandemic on both its members and the business community, Pag-IBIG Fund has deferred for the third consecutive year the increase of its contributions rates which remain unchanged since 1986.

Pag-IBIG Fund chief executive officer Marilene Acosta said the agency’s robust fiscal standing and strong collections driven by members opting to save more under the agency’s Regular and MP2 Savings programs, shall allow it to address the growing loan demand of members even without a contribution rate increase this year.

“Our strong financial position shall allow us to again postpone the increase in our contribution rates for a year. We are happy to report that even without any increase in our rates, we were able to post record-highs in 2022 with our membership savings collections reaching nearly P80 billion, loan payment collections amounting to P127.42 billion, short-term loan releases at P57.69 billion and home loan takeout amounting to P117.85 billion,” Acosta said.

“And, with the continued trust and support of our members, the business community and housing industry partners, we look forward to achieving another banner year for Pag-IBIG Fund in 2023 despite not increasing our contribution rates for the 37th consecutive year,” she added.