01/07/2011 [ tribune.net.ph ]
Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman Jejomar Binay called for the implementation of a housing program for government employees.
In a letter to President Aquino, Binay said that while the government has been providing housing opportunities for informal settlers and poor dwellers, many of our government personnel are still homeless.
There are about 1.3 million government employees who, under existing laws, can avail of housing loans from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Pag-IBIG fund.
However, only a small percentage of government employees have availed of the said loans because the existing housing options, especially those in Metro Manila, are not affordable.
Also, low-income government employees find it difficult to access and comply with the requirements needed.
“This housing program would strengthen HUDCC’s existing mandate to provide for institutional or government employees’ housing. This is aligned with HUDCC’s new thrust to assist and guide government agencies and local government units in the conceptualization and implementation of housing projects for their employees and is consistent with our mandate to provide housing for the homeless,” Binay said.
The proposed housing program directs all government departments and agencies to establish housing committees and conduct an in-house survey to determine their employees’ housing needs and financial capabilities.
It also directs all government agencies to submit to HUDCC the list of idle and underutilized government lands for the past 10 years as possible housing sites for their employees.
“Utilizing idle government properties for housing would make it easier for government agencies to provide housing for their employees and other qualified beneficiaries,” the Vice President said.
Past proclamations have already declared certain government lands as housing sites for specific groups of government employees such as the AFP Off-base Housing, Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute Employees Housing and the New Bilibid Prison Reservation.
However, most of the declared housing sites are yet to be developed. PNA