Although this post is meant for OFWs, Filipinos in the Philippines can follow along by skipping a few steps. Yes, it means life is easier for you in the tropical island.
As for OFWs, we have to rely on the Internet to invest and save. We are the ones who wish everything can be done online.
For some good news, at the start of the year, I found out that Filipinos can now open a Virtual Pag-IBIG account, wherever you are. It’s a long time coming.
But there’s a catch for OFWs. (We just have to get used to it.)
Get an Extra Hand
This is an important step. You will need an extra help. It’s time to call a friend, a relative, or anyone in the Philippines.
You need someone from the Philippines with a cellular phone.
With there consent, of course, you will use there phone number in signing up. A One-Time Pin (OTP) will be sent to that mobile phone, then you will have to use the pin in order to successfully open a Virtual Pag-IBIG account.
One more thing. You’ll have to take an obligatory selfie with a real purpose. You can refer to Step 4 for more details. I found it somewhat an invasion of privacy and unnecessary.
Now that you have an idea of what to expect, things will become clearer as we go through the steps of creating an online account.
Steps on How to Open a Virtual Pag-IBIG Account
You should use a laptop or desktop and your sidekick will use a cellphone with Wifi.
For communication, use a free app like Viber or Messenger (I have both) or any app that both of you can install in each cellphones (Android or iOS).
With your trusted sidekick (who agreed to stay up late or early), follow the steps. By the way, there is a time limit so focus on the task. Catch up on each other lives on later.
Step 1: Go Virtual Pag-IBIG > Create Account.
Step 2: Enter personal information. Remember use a Philippine mobile number.
- Pag-IBIG MID No.
- Member’s Last Name
- Member’s First Name
- Member’s Middle Name
- Date of Birth
- Mobile Number (Philippine no. only)
Step 3: Enter the One-Time Pin (OTP) that is sent to the Philippine mobile number.
Step 4: Continue filling up the online form. You also have to upload two photos for identification.
Note: The allowed file types are jpg, jpeg, png, and bmp. The maximum file size is 1MB (each photo).
It’s a good thing I have dual citizenship. I submitted the following photos:
- Philippine passport (the page with photo and information)
- Myself while holding and showing the part of Philippine passport with photo and information
Sorry guys, I can’t show a sample of my selfie. I only used my cellphone to take photos so I know you’ll be able to do the same.
Taking photos is the part that took me a lot of time. Well because of the lighting, the feeling of being conscious, and confusion. Why do we need a selfie anyway?
It’s another experience that I found odd. Another experience that I can think of, was when I sign up for PayPilipinas to pay online my MP2 contribution. I had to make an overseas phone call in Philippine time which means staying up late.
Step 5: Check your email for an activation notification. Click the link in the email to log in and reset the password.
How did you do? Were you able to sign up right away?
If no, do share in the comment the issues that gets in the way so others can chime in for solutions.
I have an embarrassing secret . . . that I will not tell you. No. No. OK, I will.
It took me three attempts to open a Virtual Pag-IBIG account. My sibling and I were sharing life updates like what happen to our house insurance application. Why our dog with messy hair is gaining weight? Too much lentil, I guessed.
Me culpa. I mixed tsikahan (chatting) and business.
Going back to business, it’s time to find out what are the benefits of signing up on Virtual Pag-IBIG. For OFW is it worth the hassle of getting extra help?
What You Can Do
My wishes for a Virtual Pag-IBIG account is for members to be able to do everything online. Is it possible? Some have been granted so far.
1. Get updates.
- Announcements (eg. where to get discounts using Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card or Loyalty Card Plus)
2. View information and pay online.
- Regular Savings
- Housing Loan
- Multi-Purpose Loan
- Calamity Loan
- Loyalty Card Plus
The payment section is a bit lagging. I wouldn’t pay online for now and will try it next month if the system gets better.
I like the old way of paying my Pag-IBIG regular savings using my credit card. As of this writing the link to that service doesn’t exist anymore. I guessed the Virtual Pag-IBIG is the only way to pay online.
3. Change account password.
Out of the many features, I’ll only use the payment section but I have to put it on hold. For now, I ask favor to my sibling to pay on my behalf to a Pag-IBIG office in the Philippines.
The verdict: I like the simplicity of the user interface but one thing is lacking.
What You Cannot Do
I was disappointed that I cannot download PDF statement of MP2 and Regular Savings.
Sure I can check how much is my contribution, if it reflects my actual contribution.
But I still think it is important to have a downloadable statement like Employee’s Statement of Accumulated Value (ESAV) or a summary of contribution.
Should I request an ESAV through email like I used to do? I can but I am not comfortable to give personal information and identification each time.
The online improvement is a good start and I hope that it will continue to have more necessary features (like PDF).
I will use my online account to pay for Regular Savings and MP2. As for other features, I am not going to apply for loans anytime soon. Someday. Maybe or not.
If you are a Filipino (OFW or not) I encourage you to open a Virtual Pag-IBIG account. It makes paying and checking account information easier regardless of location.
How was your experience in using the website of Virtual Pag-IBIG?
Earl Dieta says
Trying to wrap my head around about this Pag-IBIG thing, what is the benefit of investing here versus putting your saving in Canadian/US market? Note that I don’t have any Philippines accounts other than being a dual citizenship but no Philippines passport.
Pwede Padala Gal says
It’s a matter of preference and diversification. I like to have savings in Canada and in the Philippines; others might prefer to have all their assets in the country of residence. Whatever is the strategy, it should be aligned with the goal in mind for different phases (working, retirement, etc).