Thursday, 6 May 2010

1M poor families now have homes

More than one million poor families have been amortizing their own homes instead of renting since 2001, when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed office.

Vice President Noli de Castro, concurrent chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), said the President made housing a priority program since 2001 which now provided more decent homes to urban poor communities and the low- and middle income families.

At the Retrospective Seminar on the Housing Sector at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City, De Castro said the President has allocated the biggest funding for housing; approved the biggest amount for loans to informal settlers; implemented the lowest interest rates and a more efficient process in the granting of housing loans; and declared more government lands as housing sites.

“For the past nine years, the President has transformed housing into one of the dynamic sectors of our economy,” De Castro said.

For the formal sector, De Castro said the Home Development Mutual (PAG-IBIG) Fund provided higher loanable amounts, lower interest rates, longer repayment terms, and faster processing of loan applications, resulting in the surge in home acquisition among low- and middle-income families since 2001.

For a P400,000 housing loan, De Castro said the affordable monthly amortization is now only six percent or P2,400 per month, more than 50 percent lower that the P5,400 monthly amortization in 2001.

De Castro said amortization for a P600,000 loan for low-income families stood at seven percent, while loans for middle income families worth P3 million stood at 11.5 percent.

For the informal sector, De Castro said the Asset Reform Program has improved security of tenure, particularly for the relocation of 105,000 families under the Rail Relocation and Resettlement Program, the biggest and most successful undertaking of its kind by the national government in recent history.

De Castro said the strengthened Community Mortgage Program (CMP) also released P5.3 billion, which funded 963 projects focused solely on shelter programs for the informal sector.

Another unprecedented achievement, De Castro said, is the President’s issuance of 113 proclamations declaring about 27,000 hectares of government lands all over the country as socialized housing sites, benefiting an estimated 280,000 families.

Expressing their gratitude to the President were housing beneficiaries such as Teodora Santos of San Pedro, Laguna who used to pay P6,000 in rent but now pays a P2,400 monthly amortization on her PAG-IBIG loan.

Adelo Flores, president of the relocation site, NorthVille I in Valenzuela City, also thanked the President for the housing project with enough public facilities, after being a reluctant leader of rail dwellers some five years ago.

CMP beneficiary Carmela Inson, president of the Andrea Paz Homeowners Association in Calamba, Laguna, told the President they have now individual titles and have become true home owners under the government housing program.

Manny Crisostomo, national president of the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, praised the President’s housing program which greatly reduced red tape in the processing of documents, permits, and licenses with the creation of one-stop shops.

Crisostomo added the President’s directive to fully computerize the Land Registration Authority (LRA) will soon provide a faster and less costly land titling system.

Marissa del Mar, president of the National Real Estate Association, said the President’s housing program helped established over 1.1 million housing units since 2001 which contributed trillions of peso to the national economy.
In partnership with the private sector, Taguig City Mayor Sigfrido Tinga said his city garnered the Galing Pook Award last year through the government’s housing program for rail dwellers.

Gawad Kalinga chairman and founder Antonio Meloto, thanked the President for believing in the capability of the “ordinary Filipino” when they met while he was establishing a model community in Dumaguete City in 2002.

To date, Meloto said Gawad Kalinga has established more than 2,000 model communities in partnership with the national government, private donors and the beneficiaries themselves, with their work at the Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Corp. (Baseco) Tondo community-cited by Boston’s Massachussetts Institute of Technology as one of the best model community in Asia. (PND)

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