The Home Development Mutual Fund, commonly known as Pag-IBIG Fund, released almost P23 billion in short-term loans during the first four months of the year to help members access additional funding.

In a statement, Pag-IBIG said it disbursed P22.63 billion in cash loans from January to April, benefiting some 965,000 members.

The amount is 38 percent higher than the P16.44 billion released in the same period last year.

Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Marilene Acosta said the new mandatory monthly contribution rate of P200 for both the employees and employers is allowing members to avail of higher cash loans.

Pag-IBIG's short-term loan program includes the agency's multi-purpose loan (MPL) and calamity loan.

Under the MPL, qualified members can borrow up to 80 percent of their total Pag-IBIG regular savings, which consists of their monthly contributions, their employer's contributions and accumulated dividends earned.

The proceeds may be used to pay for tuition, medical expenses, minor home improvement, a family trip or can serve as capital for small businesses.

Borrowers may choose between a 24 or 36-month payment term and are provided a two-month grace period prior to their first payment.

The MPL comes at an interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum.

The calamity loan, on the other hand, is available to members residing or working in areas declared under a state of calamity.

Earlier this year, the agency also introduced the Pag-IBIG Health and Education Loan Program (Pag-IBIG HELPs).

The program is designed to support members with their health and educational expenses by partnering with various schools and hospitals.

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