If your home was damaged by this year’s super-storms, you probably want to rebuild and make your house liveable once more. But you don’t have enough funds, so you approach Pag-Ibig and ask for their help. After all, they are the biggest calamity loan provider in the country. 600,000 Filipinos have turned to Pag-Ibig Fund to request for calamity loans and the good news is that most of their applications were approved. P9.3 billion has released by the home financing institution to date, and they anticipate disbursements to reach P10 billion by end of December 2009. So if you’re a card-carrying member of Pag-Ibig Fund, it’s very likely that you’ll get your calamity loan approved unless:
1) You have given less than 24 monthly contributions. This is the minimum number required for borrowers to qualify for a loan.
2) You have not been remitting your Pag-Ibig contributions and have become an inactive Home Development Mutual Fund Member. In order to qualify for a calamity loan, you should have made at least five monthly contributions in the last six months. If your loan gets approved, you and your employer need to keep remitting contributions throughout the duration of the loan term.
3) Your monthly net pay is lower than P3,000
If you do get your calamity loan approved, remember than the maximum term of loan repayment is 24 months.
Did you know that the rainy season is the best time to look for properties in the city or the province? Unpredictable weather reveals a lot of things that you wouldn’t have found out in the dry season, such as damaging floods and landslides. Avoid being a casualty of another typhoon like Ondoy by following these tips on buying a flood-proof house.
Ask for the disclosure statement
A disclosure statement contains all the relevant details about the property – the description of the land, the type of soil, geological and development history (e.g. is it reclaimed land?), etc. Disclosure agreements are a mandatory practice in United States real estate but in the Philippines, you’ll only receive a disclosure statement if you ask for it. Before signing your lease or contract, make sure the seller reads the disclosure statement to you.
Aside from making sure that your home insurance covers the Acts of God clause, Typhoon Ondoy has one more important implication for Philippine real estate: from today onwards, new homebuyers will only consider elevated properties. People will now be more conscious about the safety features of the properties they plan to invest in, not so much safety from robbers and pollution, but from natural calamities.
Floods from previous typhoons usually affect marginalized sectors of the city and other areas located near rivers and creeks. In the news, we’ve seen how riverside neighborhoods in Pasig, Marikina, and Cainta were most heavily damaged by the flood. However, not all of these neighborhoods were poor; in fact, many middle-class villages like Providence were among the most badly hit by the flood. Even upper class neighborhoods in Metro Manila like Corinthian Gardens, Loyola Grand Villas, and North and South Forbes Park took their own hit from the flood. In other words, the city’s inferior drainage system, lack of urban planning, and increasing amounts of non-biodegradable wastes now make formerly flood-proof areas susceptible to flood damage.
Those who are looking to buy properties should make sure their new home is located on hills and elevated roads, or neighborhoods far from rivers and creeks. Although living in a condominium will generally keep your home and personal belongings safe from the flood, a condominium located in a flood-prone area will eventually accumulate structural damage and weaken over time. Make sure you verify that a property is flood-free before you buy or rent them, so that you don’t have to worry about losing your belongings or the lives of your loved ones.
Typhoon Ondoy taught us that even residential areas in Metro Manila that we thought were flood-proof can get devastated by floodwaters given a large amount of rain. For this reason, you need to make sure that your home insurance policy covers “Acts of God” or “Acts of Nature”, which means that they are liable for natural phenomena like floods, lightning strikes, earthquakes, and other freak natural occurrences that can’t be prevented. In the event that your home gets damaged by a flood or similar nature, you can get your insurance provider to compensate for the repairs.
During disaster-free years, you might get the impression that paying for home insurance and the additional costs of the Acts of God clause are a waste of money. After all, the very nature of the Acts of God clause is that these natural disasters are unpredictable and unexpected. You may not think of your street as flood-prone, but you never know. It’s best to stay protected and stay covered because you may regret being under-insured in the future.
So the next time you speak with your insurance provider, make sure it is clear what situations are considered to be an “Act of God.” Ask them to be very clear about what specific natural disasters are covered by your insurer so that you can have the peace of mind knowing that all will not be lost during freak occurrences.
Last weekend, a number of residential neighborhoods in Metro Manila had to contend with the worst flood in 50 years. Now that Typhoon Ondoy has passed, those who were affected by the flood are now busy cleaning up the house and their personal belonging. Here are some tips and techniques for cleaning flooded items and sanitizing the house after a flood.
Before anything else, talk to your insurance agent and ask if your insurance covers Acts of God like floods and earthquakes. List down the damage and take photos of the house to help your insurance company assess the situation.
Remove as much mud as you can from the floors and walls, then use a hose to wash the surfaces.
Using an anti-bacterial, all-purpose house cleaner, disinfect every surface and piece of furniture. It’s important that your house cleaner have anti-bacterial properties because floodwaters are teeming with pathogens and bacteria.