JUN AGUILAR, ONE OF THE founders of the private corporation, Filipino Migrant Workers (FMW) Group, considers himself mapalad ng kaunti (a bit lucky) because he was able to grab a ?juicy? employment contract in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that not only allowed his family to come with him but also take care of his children?s education.
While toiling there from 1985 to 1998, he became part of a group that set up the FMW to help overseas Filipino workers? (OFWs) reintegrate in the Philippines and sustain their stay without having to leave again.
He?s back in the Philippines, but the FMW Group?s advocacy work continues, Aguilar said.
FMW boasts of 2,000 members, he added, and will play a key role in the OFW Hour segment of the Philippine Real Estate Festival (PREF) from July 24 to 26 2008 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Themed ?Educating the OFW?Real Estate as the Best Intelligent Investment,? the OFW Hour is co-organized by the Global Filipino Nation, Global Filipino Coalition, Worldwide Filipino Alliance, Pinoy Koop Inc., and OFW Multipurpose Cooperative.
Among the guest speakers in this segment is Pag-Ibig president Romero Quimbo.
To address concerns
The OFW Hour would address the concerns of OFW group members, the organizers and their families. Philippine Real Estate Festival chair Rose Custodio Basa estimated the OFW membership of these organizations to reach a total 5,000.
Basa predicted up to 8,000 would attend the three-day PREF, which is set to become a major convergence of developers, investors, and house hunters. She added that the fest would also be a one-stop shop for local and overseas-based property hunters looking to purchase from reputable developers in the Philippines.
During the festival proper, Rafael Odes Abano III, VP and OIC of Loans Organizations Group of the Pag-Ibig Mutual Fund, will lend his expert advice on how to apply for Pag-Ibig housing loans and how to restructure delinquent loans.
Urban Institute president, Engr. Enrico Cruz, would also give tips on how to avail of the Pag-Ibig Real Estate Development Loans (for subdivisions and condominiums, among others), and how to earn extra income as a real estate broker.
Jaime Cura, CEO of CrebaLand Inc. will show attendees how to detect fake titles.
If there?s a so-called ?fire sale? among garments and accessories, there?s a similar ?sale? happening on July 26.
The ?Grand Subastahan? will be held at the festival where bank-acquired properties will be on sale, to be supervised by Noli Alleje.
There will also be special sale by the HMDF officers of foreclosed Pag-Ibig properties.
Basa said the three-day fest will showcase several locations in the country and several payment options from Pag-Ibig and banks offering property loans that would fit visitors? budgets.
There would also be attractive packages for large-scale investors.
The interactive lectures, with the theme ?Philippines as an Investment Haven? has invited Trade and industry Secretary Peter Favila to speak on the present state of Philippine economy.
Joining Favila will be the Colliers International managing director David Young, who will talk about the Philippine real estate industry prospect for the next five to 10 years, and Lindsay Orr, managing director of Jones Lang Lasalle, who will talk about how to start a real estate business in the Philippines.
There will be ceremonial honors for OFWs, real estate brokers and inventors of real estate-based products.
According to data released by the festival organizers, 60 to 70 percent of housing loans come from overseas-based workers. Last year alone, $4.2 billion (P186.4 billion), or a third of the total foreign remittance now estimated at $12 billion (P532.8 billion) has been directed to the real estate sector.
According to PREF, the potential of attracting OFWs has prompted many real estate developers to travel abroad and mount road shows to sell their properties, but this endeavor can be financially impractical for both sellers and buyers.
Through the festival, these same developers need not go abroad and still home in on their intended target market-the families of the OFWs who take care of their loved ones? investments.
And to ensure the security of these investments, the festival will present real estate developers that are legitimate and accredited members of reputable organizations like Creba, SHDA and NREA.
?It is also important to note that the local market is on the upswing-with fiscal and lending policies making the dream of owning a home more attainable than ever, as the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council through its chair, Vice President Noli de Castro, and its various key shelter agencies are all clearly focused on wiping out homelessness in Philippine shores,? said Basa (for further inquiries on topics, Basa can be reached at 864-0224, 819-2058 or at firstname.lastname@example.org).