Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Filipinos in the UAE continually learn to save and consider real estate and properties as prime investments, based on recent data from the Philippines’s home development mutual fund, popularly known as PagIBIG Fund.
From 59,969 paying members across the seven emirates in 2018, in 2009 was 72,150 or a plus 12,181.
Of the 59,969 in 2018, 35,981 are from Dubai and the Northern Emirates and the 23,988 in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region. Of the 72,150 in 2019, 43,291 are from Dubai and the Northern Emirates and the 28,859 in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region.
PagIBIG Fund-Dubai and the Northern Emirates representative Lowella Recto released the data recently as last week, residential real estate developer SM Development Corporation (SMDC), opened its Dubai office.
SMDC, reported to be one of the best condominium developers in the Philippines, is a subsidiary of the SM Prime Holdings Inc.
These are part of the SM Investments conglomerate of the late Henry Sy, whom Forbes had recorded as the Philippines’s richest man in more than a decade, who first tried his business acumen by selling shoes and thereafter put up SM ShoeMart in 1958.
SM Prime Holdings Inc. ($400 million) was third among the top 14 real estate and property developers in the Philippines in 2019.
“The UAE is the largest market for us after the Philippines. More than half of our total sales come from overseas,” SMDC president Jose Mari Banzon told Gulf Today.
A big number purchase and thereafter lease their properties. A reason for the increase of PagIBIG membership is the periodic outreach caravans Recto and her Abu Dhabi colleague, Salome Macatangay, conduct in coordination with the Team Philippines—the Philippine Consulate General, Philippine Embassy, and the two Philippine Overseas Labour Offices.
These caravans capture Filipinos interested in enrolling as first-time members or have been wanting to reactivate their membership.
This reporter met an overjoyed young Filipina, a new UAE resident, one evening at Sharjah City Centre where the Philippine Team did a two-night outreach.
The young Filipina had planned all along to enlist. She had been wanting all along to own a house for her parents and siblings.
“The PagIBIG Fund housing loan allows you to borrow up to Php6 million (Dhs435,138.00) to purchase a residential lot, a house and lot or a condominium unit. The maximum repayment period is 30 years.”
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