A land swapping agreement finalized on June 29 between the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) will soon benefit thousands of students in need of classrooms.
On Tuesday, the church’s top brass disclosed that the recent agreement between the INC and the NHA covering properties in Quezon City will allow the Department of Education (DepEd) to build additional classrooms on a 2,000 square-meter parcel of land next to the Holy Spirit National High School.
The INC originally owned the parcel of land in Barangay Holy Spirit that was intended for its Republic and Riverside worship locales, but the property was considered inadequate for the church’s ever-increasing number of members in the area.
The group said the land swap addresses the growing needs of Holy Spirit National High School, which needed to build more classrooms for its senior high school students.
A non-contiguous area comprising approximately 2,000 square meters, coupled with a lack of funds, prevented the national government from expanding facilities that would benefit local residents in need of access to free secondary education.
Glicerio P. Santos IV, who represented the INC in the negotiations and the signing of the agreement, expressed the church’s sentiments regarding the land swap.
“We are thankful that the NHA and the DepEd approached the INC to propose this agreement, which we believe addresses the needs of our church and especially the needs of the students of Holy Spirit National High School,” Santos emphasized.
He added that these were the kinds of “public-private partnerships” that benefits all the stakeholders involved.
“Done properly, these arrangements bring benefits to thousands of our citizens, and we will gladly take part in any endeavor that seeks to promote the welfare of our countrymen.”
The land swap is the brainchild of DepEd NCR and the NHA’s National Government Center, which proposed the lot swapping agreement to the INC in 2014 to realize and implement the expansion.
An NGC Resolution approving the swapping of lot allocations was approved on February 10, 2015.
The INC eventually purchased the property after the church and the NHA, which administered the lot, entered into a Memorandum of Agreement under the provisions of Republic Act No. 9207, which authorized the disposition of portions of land to charitable, educational and religious institution for either socio-civic or religious purposes.
The funds acquired from the deal will be earmarked for the classroom project.
Santos added that the INC looks forward to more substantial collaborative projects and agreements with the national government and LGUs as it pursues more public assistance endeavors.