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PIA Press Release

GSIS provides P138-M for housing needs of its Cebu members

By Minerva BC Newman

Cebu City (12 August) -- The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)-Cebu branch has allocated more than P138.110-Million for the public sector housing needs for 2005. However, the GSIS has released P27, 904,653.13 representing 42 housing units only out of this year's target of 221 units, reveals Mitos Galicinao, Chief, Special Business Division and Information Officer of the GSIS here.

Galicinao further said "the GSIS has done all it can to provide for the housing needs of the public sector, however, there are several factors why availments of the housing loans are low," Galicinao explained.

Based on their experiences, 75% of housing loan applications is disapproved due to lack of titles. Most of the lands that are used as collaterals to the loans do not have titles and they are mostly agricultural lands. They only have tax declarations, as proof of ownership and these are usually the cases of lots that are located in the municipalities. The second most common problem is the low "net take home pay" of the applicants, Galicinao said.

Basic applications requirements for housing loan include; certified photocopy of the original title of the land, certificate of employment stating the latest monthly salary and allowances, including exemptions under LOI-14 or certificate of no pending case, original pay slips for the current and the past two months, official receipts covering payment of Real property taxes for the current year, latest and previous year's Declaration of Real property, lot/location plan with vicinity map duly signed and sealed by a Geodetic Engineer, photos and fully filled in application form.

Galicinao said, GSIS is very specific that on the lot collateral, it has to be classified as residential and with title.

According to Gigi Zafra, Budget Officer/Treasurer of San Fernando town, most of the lands in the towns and in the provinces have not been titled yet because majority also of the LGUs do not have the approved Cadastral Survey from the DENR, which is a major requirement to implement the city and municipal zoning ordinances as well as re/classifying and titling of lands

"We have done almost everything to facilitate the housing loans; we have waived some requirements and our interests are fixed within the loan period," says Cecil Gasendo, OIC-GSIS, Cebu. Recently, the GSIS scraps housing loan processing and other fees it was previously charging members in an effort to make its housing program more attractive, affordable and convenient to borrowers. Today, the GSIS has expanded its Bahay Ko program. It has the lowest fixed interest rates, longer repayment terms, no loanable amount ceiling, fast and easy release of proceeds and no processing and appraisal fees, Gasendo added.

GSIS President & General Manager, Winston Garcia, in a media interview said, housing loan programs from private and government financial institutions charge P1000-2000 in application fee and another P1000-2000 in processing fee. Borrowers are also required to pay some .5% of the loan proceeds. GSIS is simply reiterating its seriousness in helping its members acquire their dream homes. Such sincerity will appear contradictory if GSIS collects expensive and often unnecessary fees, Garcia added. (PIA) [top]

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