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Ph gov’t released P1.2-B to community-organized housing

Informal settlers currently residing in danger areas in Metro Manila.
Informal settlers currently residing in danger areas in Metro Manila.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P1.2 billion to the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) to roll out housing projects for Informal Settler Families (ISFs) currently residing in danger areas in Metro Manila.

“We are continuing the relocation of informal settler families, especially those living near the waterways of Metro Manila. 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,” Secretary of Budget Florencio Abad said.

Abad added that the housing project will be adopting the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) 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.

“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,“ he added.

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).

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

The budget chief noted that the administrative cost includes the wages of SHFC personnel who will be assisting the organized communities throughout the whole process. These include, but are not limited to, program consultation, due diligence of ISF eligibility, 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. 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,” Abad added.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.