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PIA Press Release

PGMA brings dignity to the poor through housing program

by A. Lumaque

Roxas City (7 September) -- The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has improved its housing loan program to assist its members to build, own and even renovate a house.

The GSIS Bahay Ko Expanded loan program provides for another window of opportunity to government workers who long to have their own homes.

Under the program, non-GSIS members are allowed to act as co-maker/co-borrower for the principal borrower who is a GSIS member. The loanable amount will be determined based on the member's capacity to pay and the member and the co-maker's combined sources of income, which may be derived from employment in private sector, employment as an overseas Filipino worker, practice of profession and/or conduct of a profitable business, stated part of the GSIS online news.

The GSIS removed the P500,000 cap on the loanable amount for housing.

Another innovation on the program is the extension of the maximum age of the borrower at loan maturity from 70 to 80 years, making it possible for retiring employees who are 60 years old and above to avail themselves of longer term of 15 years instead of the usual five years. Regardless of the amount, the loans are covered by a mortgage redemption insurance and fire insurance, the news added.

Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has doubled the government's budget for housing in 2008 to P7-billion from this year's P3-billion to give more Filipinos the opportunity to own homes.

The increased allocation for housing was intended to sustain the momentum of her administration's program to expand the country's house ownership base.

The government's low-cost housing program is part of President Arroyo's effort to trickle-down to the people the effect of the country's economic growth. (PIA) [top]

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