The Pag-IBIG Fund, a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC), has sought approval from Malacañang to double its monthly member contributions, as reported by Mark Salazar of 24 Oras. The proposed increase from P100 to P200 is expected to generate over P38 billion for the fund, enabling it to offer an additional P1 million in housing loans without raising interest rates.
However, this decision has been met with opposition from minimum wage workers. Security guard Mar expressed concerns about the financial strain this increase would impose, considering the already low salaries of many workers. Fast food employee Jun Cervantes acknowledged the challenge but suggested adapting to the situation by reducing expenses.
The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) supports the increase, viewing it as a beneficial investment. ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. described it as “forced savings” that accrue interest, and therefore not a significant burden for workers.
Some workers have requested that this increase in contributions be matched with a salary raise, and not coincide with other mandatory contributions and salary deductions.
In a related move, PhilHealth is also planning a 5% increase in its mandatory contributions, pending approval from Malacañang. This increase is aimed at enhancing health benefits for members. PhilHealth Acting Vice President for Corporate Affairs Rey Balena highlighted several benefits, including a P4,000 package for tuberculosis treatment using DOTS, a P3,000 animal bite treatment package, and a P30,000 annual outpatient treatment package for HIV-AIDS patients.