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Construction of 400,000 mass housing units a year pushed

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
December 28, 2010, 11:24pm [ Manila Bulletin Online ]
MANILA, Philippines – To bring down the four million housing unit backlog and help eradicate poverty, there should be an effort to build 400,000 units of socialized mass housing annually.
Edgardo B. Lacson, a board member of the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-ibig and president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, said this in light of the burgeoning housing backlog in the country, especially in the National Capital Region.
Lacson said that Pag-Ibig alone has total exposure of P46 billion in socialized housing program in the country.
Pag-Ibig provides housing loans to its members and to developers of mass housing projects at modest interest rate.
While Lacson said that Pag-Ibig can continue its role in addressing the huge housing backlog in the country, he also reiterated the need for the government to come up with a comprehensive national housing policy in the country through the creation of a Department of Housing.
A proposed bill on the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a super-agency for housing and land development, which was filed during the 14th Congress is being revived in the present Congress.
At present, there have been different housing programs under various government housing agencies.
Aside from Pag-Ibig, other government agencies with the mandate to provide shelter to Filipinos include National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., National Housing Authority and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
“All these should be consolidated in one body so we can rationalize our housing program,” Lacson said.
“These various government agencies undertaking housing programs have different policies and most of the time they are just competing against each for the same market that they serve,” he said.
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