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Pag-IBIG contribution not yet mandatory in HK: Congen

27 April 2022

 By Leo A. Deocadiz

Members qualify for a Pag-IBIG housing loan after 24 monthly contributions

The Consulate today allayed concern OFWs will be required to pay Pag-IBIG Fund contributions to be able to get their Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) , a document needed for travel to the Philippines so they can be allowed to return to their place of work with airport fee and travel tax exemptions.

Consul General Raly Tejada told a chat group of Filipino community leaders that the present procedures at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) do not require the Pag-IBIG membership when OFWs apply for the OEC.

“Just had a meeting with our POLO and PAG-IBIG heads,” he told the group. “Currently, hindi naman hinahanap ng POLO ang Pag-Ibig Membership ID sa mga aplikante para makapag issue ng OEC.” (Currently, POLO does not ask for the Pag-Ibig Membership ID from applicants of OEC)


His statement was confirmed by Pag-IBIG Fund representative Raymond Francis L. Ramos, who told The SUN that they are still waiting for instructions from Manila.

The online OEC system, which is controlled in Manila, still does not require OFWs to enter their Pag-IBIG ID number when they apply for an OEC, he said.

How long this situation will last, nobody can tell.


The community leaders had raised concern that OFWs will not be issued OECs starting April 26 if they did not pay their Pag-IBIG contributions.

Cynthia Abdon-Tellez, general manager of the Mission for Migrant Workers, urged Congen Tejada to call a community meeting so that this new requirement could be explained.

The controversy began after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) posted on its Facebook page on April 20 photos of a two-page joint advisory signed by POEA Administrator Bernard P. Olalia and Pag-IBIG Fund President Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti.

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The post said that effective April 26, the POEA will require all OFWs and applicants for overseas jobs to encode their Pag-IBIG membership ID numbers in their e-Registration System accounts. POEA will then collect their Pag-IBIG contributions before issuing their OECs.

The advisory raised a howl of protest.

Bayan Muna-Hong Kong described the fee as "another form of state exaction."

For its part, Migrante International said: "OFWs have always been the piggy bank of various government agencies through mandatory collections through POEA and OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) membership, travel insurance, SSS (Social Security System), and PhilHealth, not to mention, medical, training and other processing requirements during the COVID pandemic."


Controversy about the mandatory collection of Pag-IBIG contributions from OFWs dates back to 2009 when Republic Act 9679 became law to further strengthen the Pag-IBIG Fund.

The Pag-IBIG Fund is a savings system that provides financing to Filipino workers who want to buy a house. Monthly contributions to the Fund earn annual dividends which are tax-free and government guaranteed. Members can qualify for a Pag-IBIG housing loan after making 24 monthly contributions.

The first step to make collection of the contributions mandatory was taken on Oct. 20, 2020 when POEA and Pag-IBIG Fund signed a memorandum of agreement to collect them through POEA’s Electronic Payment and Collection System.

The arrangement has remained unimplemented until this new push last week. 

If the new scheme pushes through, OFWs would be made to pay their P100 monthly contribution as a lump sum of P2,400 for every two-year contract, by making it a requirement for the issuance of the OEC.

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