• DMCI urges govt to build shelters for poor

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    INFRASTRUCTURE conglomerate DMCI Holdings Inc. on Wednesday proposed that the Duterte administration consider building shelters for low-income Filipino families instead of offering mass housing, which involves ownership of house and lots.

    DMCI said the shelters could be built on idle lands that belong to public domain.

    Isidro Consunji, DMCI chairman and president, said many Filipino families are earning below P30,000 per household and therefore would not be able to afford a monthly amortization of P10,000 to P15,000 a month for their own houses.

    “We should distinguish shelter from ownership. These are different things. The government has no program that is purely for shelter, and you cannot equate shelter to ownership of house and lot. What we need is not necessarily ownership of real property, but something that is useable,” Consunji said on the sidelines of DMCI’s stockholders’ meeting.

    “People, instead of paying that P15,000 amortization, could actually pay only P5,000 to P6,000 as shelter fee. It is only the government which is in the position to do that, especially since there are a lot of idle lands” that belong to public domain, he noted.

    “The big factor is land, and it is only the government which would be able to remove that block from people wanting to have a house,” he said.

    Therefore, idle lands of public domain such as those near the Laguna de Bay could be utilized and offered for bidding to various developers, including their housing arm, DMCI Project Developers Inc. (DMCI Homes), who would construct and design these facilities in favor of the qualified beneficiaries.

    “Then if the economic capability of these beneficiaries improve, then that is the time that they could aim for full ownership of the land. But for the meantime, a government shelter works fine,” Consunji said, noting that the conglomerate through its unit DMCI Homes is keen on participating in such a bidding should the government decide to develop shelters for low-income families.

    “It could be in the form of build-operate-transfer, whichever is best suitable,” Consunji said.

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