Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor group supports probe of PAG-IBIG scam

03 September 2010

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) expressed support for moves in the House of Representatives to have the reported Pag-ibig scam in Pampanga investigated. It called for comprehensive audit which will include all other projects with financing from Pag-ibig during the past administration and previous regimes.

A two-series report that came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on the alleged fictitious Pag-ibig beneficiaries in Pampanga prompted Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales to file a resolution calling for the investigation of said anomaly. The scam involved billions of Pag-ibig funds paid to Globe Asiatech, a developer that managed those ghost and unqualified beneficiaries, allegedly through ‘special arrangements’ with Pag-ibig officials.

Partido ng Manggagawa chair Renato Magtubo said his group found the scam revolting for ordinary workers, especially those in the low-income level who find housing loans hard to avail due to the Fund’s stringent requirements.

“It’s really revolting to know that billions of our funds went to the hands of unscrupulous developers while millions of our lowly-paid workers remain homeless or painstakingly footing their delinquent accounts,” said Magtubo.

Pag-ibig premiums are automatically deducted from workers’ salaries earning at least P4,500.00 per month. The Fund charges as for as low as 6% interest rates for low cost housing to as high as 10% to 12% for loans amounting to P1-million to P2 million.

“Pag-ibig officials were assigned to manage our fund judiciously and wisely to secure the immediate and long-term interest of its members. To mess with it, in connivance with crook developers, is no doubt a high crime that warrants tough justice,” insisted Magtubo.

The labor leader wanted a thorough investigation of the said anomaly and demanded full accountability for those responsible for the scam.

The labor group likewise called on lawmakers to expand the probe to include the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) that are also hounded by reports of anomalous transactions.

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