The Social Security System (SSS) has accredited a thrift bank operating in Visayas and Mindanao (VisMin) as one of its partners under its housing and business loan programs to provide accessible credit to members and employers in the southern areas of the country.
Pedro T. Baoy, SSS vice president of the Lending and Asset Management Division said the fund has accredited Enterprise Bank, the first thrift bank accredited this year as a participating financial institution (PFI).
Previously, only four commercial banks are accredited as PFIs by SSS.
“As an accredited PFI, Enterprise Bank can accept applications of members and employers for SSS housing and business loans,” Baoy said.
“Guided by SSS guidelines, the bank will process the loan application and release the loan proceeds to the SSS borrower, and it will also handle the collection of payments,” he added.
Senior officials from SSS and Enterprise Bank signed the Memorandum of Agreement and Loan Agreement during ceremonies at the SSS main office in Diliman, Quezon City last April 22.
Senior Vice President for Administration Group May Catherine C. Ciriaco and Enterprise Bank President Ronald E. Alvizo served as the agreement signatories for their respective organizations.
“Enterprise Bank mirrors the dedication of SSS in helping Filipinos achieve their dream of buying their own home and growing or expanding their own businesses,” Baoy said.
“The bank remained steadfast in serving its clients amid the difficulties that afflicted Visayas and Mindanao, especially after the damage wrought by typhoons Yolanda, Sendong, Pablo, and Gener,” he added.
SSS initially partnered with Enterprise Bank in 2005, when it was accredited as collecting and paying agent of the SSS where members and employers can pay their contributions and loans.
Formerly a rural bank, Enterprise Bank continuously expanded its operations and services to cater to the needs of people in rural areas until it was authorized by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to operate as a thrift bank in 2012.
Aside from Enterprise Bank, the other accredited PFIs include the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank and Philippine Veterans Bank.
SSS offers various types of housing and business loans to individual members and employers, including micro, small and medium enterprises. Depending on the type of loan, members and employers can file their applications directly with SSS or thru a PFI.
At-end 2015, SSS disbursed a total of 151.80 billion in housing loans, financing the construction or acquisition of 331,000 units of houses, while more than 5,000 projects have been financed by SSS thru its various business lending windows which amounted to 123.82 billion.
Listed property developer Sta. Lucia Land, Inc. was named the recipient of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the category of Innovative Management in Consumer Product & Service Industries of the third annual Asia Pacific Stevie Awards in April.
The Asia Pacific Stevie Awards are the only business awards program to recognize innovation in the workplace in all 22 nations of the Asia Pacific region. The Stevie Awards are widely considered to be the world’s premier business awards, conferring recognition for achievement in programs such as The International Business Awards for more than a decade. Nicknamed the “Stevies” for the Greek word for “crowned,” the awards were presented to the winners at a gala banquet held at the Westin Hotel in Sydney, Australia last May 27.
In conferring the award, one of the judges commended the excellent leadership of the company’s top two executives, saying, “Mr. Exequiel Robles and Mr. Vicente Santos have led the company into great success, of becoming one of the biggest real estate companies in the Philippines. The achievement is truly remarkable. Under their leadership, the companies have built more than 220 projects in residential, commercial, leisure, and retail assets all over the Philippines, and have also expanded internationally.”
Another judge noted how Sta. Lucia’s various projects have contributed positively to nation-building. “Very impressive track record of delivering a wide range of real estate products in the Philippines and fulfilling a very important need in the country,” he said.
More than 600 nominations from organizations across the Asia Pacific region were considered this year, and Sta. Lucia emerged as the only real estate company in the country to have been given the award. The Sta. Lucia Group, through the publicly listed Sta. Lucia Land, Inc., expects to continue the growth of its real estate business activities this year.
The Sta. Lucia Group is considered one of the Philippines’ biggest real estate companies, with over 10,000 hectares of land developed and more than 220 projects throughout the Philippines.
The Group is also a pioneer developer in key cities outside Metro Manila such as in Bulacan, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao, Dagupan, and Palawan. It is the largest developer of golf courses in the country, with 14 nationwide including the 800hectare Eagle Ridge, the Philippine’s largest golf complex featuring four world-class championship courses.
Since its inception in 1972 by members of the Robles-Santos family, the Sta. Lucia Group has focused on building planned residential communities that cater to the emerging middle class. It has successfully diversified into vertical residential developments and is currently expanding its business in this category.
Other projects in its diversified product portfolio include a commercial mall, condotels, and resorts.
It currently has a sales force of over 120,000 covering both domestic and international sales. Its global marketing network covers seven international channels in Singapore, United Kingdom, Dubai, Australia, France, California, and Illinois in the United States with over 1,000 international sales agents.
“We are truly honored to have been conferred this award. It is something that propels us to do better as we strive to put forth projects that will help us grow the company and our country. After all, our vision has always been to provide quality residential communities to Filipinos all over the world,” beamed Exequiel Robles, President of Sta. Lucia Land, Inc.