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DBM releases P1.2B for informal settlers

Posted on May 25, 2014 09:10:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Bettina Faye V. Roc, Senior Reporter

THE DEPARTMENT OF Budget and Management (DBM) has released about P1.2 billion for housing projects for informal settler families residing in danger areas around Metro Manila, it said in a statement over the weekend.

The allotment release was made to the Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., which is a government-owned and -controlled entity, the DBM said.

“We are continuing the relocation of informal settler families, especially those living near the waterways of Metro Manila,” Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad was quoted as saying in the statement.

“With the fund release, the SHFC can build more resilient homes in safer zones-such as in-city and off-city relocation sites-and ensure the well-being of these families, especially during calamities. This is of course in line with our efforts to provide quality and affordable homes to those who need them the most,” said Mr. Abad.

The Budget chief said that the initiative will be implemented via the Community Mortgage Program approach, through which an organized community will initiate and manage the housing project itself.

The organizing community will likewise be in charge of securing funding support from the SHFC, he explained.

“As an added feature to this housing project, the administration is empowering communities to participate and be more involved in implementing the program. We are opening up opportunities for them to take the lead in the whole project: from land acquisition to site development, to the actual building construction,” added Mr. Abad.

Among the organized communities that will implement the housing projects are the Goldmine Interior Homeowners Association, Inc. (GIHAI), the Alyansa ng Mamamayan sa Valenzuela at Caloocan Housing Cooperative (AMVACA), and the Dario River Alliance Housing Cooperative (DRAHC), the DBM said.

Of the total P1.2-billion release, GIHAI, AMVACA and DRAHC were allotted P46 million, P636.5 million and P514.5 million, respectively.

These allocations will cover the costs of land acquisition, site development and building construction, among others.

The funds will likewise cover administrative costs, which include the wages of SHFC personnel who will be assisting these implementing organized communities in program consultation, due diligence of the eligibility of the informal settler families to be covered under the projects, review of technical plans and legal documents, and assistance in the preparation of project proposals.

“Major investments in social services like these are at the core of our inclusive growth agenda,” Mr. Abad claimed.

“The beauty of this project, however, is its participative nature. The families themselves will be actively engaged in executing the project. It’s nation-building at the community level,” he said.

Last February, the Budget department released P600 million to the National Housing Authority for the relocation of informal settler families in Pateros.

With the budget, 2,069 families residing along the rivers and waterways of Pateros will be transferred to Baras, Rizal.

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