A total of P19 million was released by the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig) in calamity loans for families whose homes were destroyed by the ongoing conflict in Zamboanga.
Vice President Jejomar Binay said as of September 25, Pag-Ibig-Zamboanga has completed the processing of 933 loan applications amounting to P19,030,577. Around 2,500 more are still being processed for approval.
“We at the housing sector intend to help our kababayans in Zamboanga rise up from this tragedy, even as we pray that peace finally reign in Mindanao,” he said.
Binay also said that the Fund’s calamity assistance program is open to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), who are members of Pag-Ibig and whose families are affected by the crisis.
OFW members who are abroad may authorize their relatives in Zamboanga by executing a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) to transact with Pag-Ibig on their behalf.
The OFWs may also go to any Pag-Ibig overseas desk for information and assistance.
While members may also apply directly at Pag-Ibig’s overseas desks, the checks will be released in the Philippines and may be claimed by a relative with an SPA.
The housing czar earlier ordered other key shelter agencies to prepare assistance packages for Zamboanga residents displaced by the armed conflict.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) will provide resettlement for those whose homes were totally damaged in the crisis, and P5,000 worth of building materials for those whose houses were partially damaged.
Binay also called on home developers to help rebuild houses for the 15,000 families rendered homeless by the conflict.
He said the housing sector is looking into the possibility of channeling the compliance projects of private developers to the peninsula.
Under the Urban Development Housing Act, private developers are required to develop an area for a socialized housing project equivalent to at least 20 percent of the total subdivision area, or with a cost equivalent to at least 20 percent of the total subdivision project cost of the main subdivision project.
Pag-Ibig-Zamboanga operates from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 nn.
Ritchie A. Horario