Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pag-IBIG: GA was not given P6.6 Billion, no special treatment

No special privileges given to developer - Pag-IBIG
(The Philippine Star) Updated September 14, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Officials of the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or Pag-IBIG Fund told the Senate banking and finance committee yesterday that Globe Asiatique or its owner, Delfin Lee, did not get any special privilege from the agency.

Tessie Gonzales, officer-in-charge of Pag-IBIG Fund, and Sergio Andal Jr., deputy chief executive officer of HDMF Regional Clusters, led other officials of the housing lending agency to debunk claims that Lee or his Globe Asiatique are favored clients. Pag-IBIG Fund’s head Jaime Fabiana is on leave.

Gonzales told Sen. Serge Osmeña, who asked what “sweeteners” were granted to Globe Asiatique’s Xevera projects in Mabalacat and Bacolor, Pampanga, that Pag-IBIG Fund did not loosen guidelines and did not give any letter of credit or loan guarantee to Lee’s company, unlike others.

She said Globe Asiatique was given only an assurance that Pag-IBIG Fund has money to the tune of P5 billion for members wishing to buy units, but this is “nothing special” as it is also given to other developers and is subject to its regular terms, like the loan application of qualified member is approved only upon completion of the desired housing unit.

Gonzales said the only difference in that funding assurance is that Globe Asiatique volunteered to give a five-year buy-back guarantee, instead of the usual two years, to protect the money of Pag-IBIG Fund in a risk sharing scheme.

“It is not a concession,” Osmeña admitted. “It is a heavier load on the developer (Globe Asiatique).”

She also stressed that Globe Asiatique is only one of the 166 developers which were allowed to use the Window I or the express lane of Pag-IBIG Fund in which housing loans are granted in seven days.

Andal reiterated Pag-IBIG Fund’s August 2010 report that Globe Asiatique has almost perfect paymentscore of 99.98 per cent. Despite this, however, Pag-IBIG Fund has not released any more money to Globe Asiatique since more than two months ago, he said.

The Pag-IBIG officials said there is pre- and post-inspection of housing units to be bought and the evaluation to determine the qualified borrowers and the approval of their housing loan has always been with Pag-IBIG even if Globe Asiatique was deputized to give interested Pag-IBIG members a loan counseling, which is a short seminar on the responsibilities of the borrowers.

Andal, on question of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, said that Globe Asiatique started the Xevera projects in 2008 but the reported problem of spurious borrowers of about 1,400 among 10,000 started to crop up only late last April and this is being investigated now.

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