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WB to help Phl meet housing targets

By Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) Updated June 06, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The World Bank (WB) is extending aid to the Philippine government to meet its target to eradicate the country’s housing backlog, Vice President Jejomar Binay said yesterday.

Fresh from his nine-day trip to Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia and the US, Binay said the WB agreed to provide technical and financial assistance to the Philippine government to achieve its goal for sustainable housing for homeless Filipinos.

“I encouraged the World Bank to consider extending both technical and financial assistance to the Philippines, namely in the implementation of our program to build sustainable housing communities,” Binay said.

“I am glad to announce that the World Bank has acted positively on our requests and that steps will be taken to see to their immediate implementation,” Binay added.

After his speaking engagement in Malaysia, Binay went to the US and attended the 5th Global Housing Finance Conference in Washington DC and met with WB executive director Rogerio Studart.

Binay sought the World Bank’s assistance in building housing communities in New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, North Triangle in Quezon City, San Miguel New Town, and Welfareville in Mandaluyong.

“We also sought technical assistance in reforming our loan program for the homeless poor, and the formulation of a policy to encourage rural banks to open a special window on housing and micro finance,” Binay said.

Earlier, Binay secured the interest of the Malaysian business community into exploring more investment opportunities in the Philippines, specifically in agriculture and agribusiness, housing, finance, tourism and infrastructure.

Binay, chairman of the Philippines’ Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), also invited Malaysian businessmen to invest in housing development and mass housing projects that would help government build 3.6 million units in the next few years.

“This is one business opportunity where the rewards are high, not necessarily in terms of financial returns alone but above all in terms of the physical satisfaction of having helped provide homes for millions and transformed the landscape across the nation,” Binay said.

Binay was in Malaysia from May 27 to 29 as head of an official delegation that included 35 business leaders.

His visit was the first high-level visit to Malaysia in five years.

“The Malaysian business community, to use their own words, is very excited about the Philippines,” Binay said.

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