Housing for poor govt priority in 2013 – Binay


Vice President Jejomar Binay, the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, said that the government focus last year was to provide housing for the marginalized sectors, the relocation of informal settler families (ISFs) living in danger zones and the rebuilding of homes for calamity survivors.

He said that the National Housing Authority (NHA) made progress in the relocation of some 104,219 ISFs in Metro Manila last year.

In August, an initial batch of settlers living along the San Juan River relocated to San Jose Heights in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan province, one of the government’s resettlement sites under the ISF Housing Program.

To date, the NHA has assisted in the relocation of some 34,000 families.

Binay said the plan to relocate all ISFs in five years is a “special project” of the government and had a budget of P50 billion in 2011.

The Vice President instructed the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund to expand its membership base to include workers from the informal sector and to help members of transport groups acquire homes.

Pag-IBIG Fund entered into a memorandum of understanding with some of the biggest transport groups, including Pasang Masda and Asian Utility Vehicle Driver Operator’s Association Inc. and allowed member drivers and operators affiliated to buy housing units through the Fund’s Home Matching Program.

Under the Home Matching Program, Pag-IBIG provides transport groups with the list and description of its acquired properties. Interested members may inspect the units and then choose which to buy, depending on their capability to pay.

The units will be paid through Pag-IBIG housing loans, with monthly amortizations ranging from P1,500 to P3,500.

The government also started construction of housing units set to benefit various indigenous groups, a pet project of Binay.

The NHA is currently constructing 1,365 housing units for the Aetas in Pampanga province, Mangyans in Occidental Mindoro province and Badjaos in Tawi-Tawi province.

Binay said 208 units have been completed, with Occidental Mindoro having the most number of units constructed so far at a hundred, followed by Tawi-Tawi with 92 and Pampanga, 16.

Another 400 units are expected to be built for the indigenous people in Banguingui and Panglima Estimo towns and Barangays Tulay and Pitogo, all in Sulu province.

Moreover, Binay enlisted national government agencies and local government units to help in the rehabilitation of houses damaged or destroyed by the earthquake that hit Central Visayas and Typhoon Yolanda that devastated much of Eastern Visayas.

Pag-IBIG Fund allotted P4.5 billion for calamity loans for affected members in Cebu and Bohol. The agency and other government housing agencies such as the Home Guaranty Corporation and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. also offered moratoriums on loans incurred by those who were affected by the quake and typhoon, while the NHA released P388 million to local governments for the repair of partially damaged houses in Bohol province.


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