MANILA – The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has stepped up efforts to address housing woes with the kick-off of its flagship program aimed at constructing over 6 million houses, which is expected to benefit some 30 million Filipinos.
The Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino (4PH) Program envisions to construct 6.15 million housing units over the next six years and involves the transformation of informal settlements into prime residential sites and waterfronts and the rehabilitation of esteros, according to the administration’s 2022 year-end report.
Among the features of the program are in-city resettlement, high-density/vertical housing emphasis in highly urbanized areas, utilization of idle government lands and support of government financial institutions (GFIs) and private banks to provide development loans and end-user financing, among others.
It also involves the provision of interest support to reduce beneficiaries’ monthly amortization, local government units (LGUs) as the lead in implementing housing projects and participation by private sector developers and contractors as partners.
As of Dec. 22, 2022, the Department of Human Settlements and Development (DHSUD) has signed 47 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with 39 LGUs and eight provincial LGUs.
Decent housing for all
According to a briefer on the site inspection of the land development and housing project, the MOU provides that the DHSUD and LGUs “will identify blighted areas for development, purchase or pursue expropriation of private properties occupied by informal settler families (ISFs), facilitate the in-city or onsite development of government-owned properties with ISFs, and identify beneficiaries of the housing project.”
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in 15 LGUs — Quezon City and Marikina City in NCR; Mariveles, Bataan; Palayan City, Nueva Ecija; Carmona, Cavite; Tanauan City, Batangas; Mandaue City, Cebu; Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; Roxas City, Capiz; Iloilo City; Sta. Barbara, Iloilo; Victorias City, Iloilo; Carles, Iloilo; Tagbilaran City, Bohol; and Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.
The DHSUD and GFIs, including the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) have also signed an MOU on Dec. 21, 2022, stating that DHSUD and GFIs will collaborate on funding strategies and allocation of financial, technical and operational resources for the 4PH.
Marcos led this month the groundbreaking of the Palayan City Township Housing Project in Nueva Ecija.
The President pointed out that the administration’s concept is to provide families with shelter not only for poor Filipinos but also for employed individuals who need decent housing.
The chief executive said housing agencies and developers must consider providing their housing projects with facilities and necessities like water, power, schools, markets as well as transport hubs.
Marcos likewise vowed to drum up efforts for the administration’s ambitious housing project in a bid to provide Filipinos with decent housing complete with basic amenities and facilities.
Project construction has already begun in various locations across the country.
Inclusive, sustainable settlements
The chief executive is also expected to sign an executive order to implement Section 24 of Republic Act 11201, which mandates government agencies to jointly identify idle state lands suitable for housing and rural development.
“The Marcos administration’s socioeconomic agenda focuses on providing Filipinos with better living conditions by establishing livable and sustainable communities,” the report read.
“Beyond the provision of shelter, especially to the underprivileged and calamity-affected families, the government is working towards building inclusive and sustainable settlements and well-planned communities,” it added.
Under the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP), the National Housing Authority (NHA) provided PHP349 million to 33,637 beneficiaries who were victims of the 7.3- magnitude earthquake in Northern Luzon on July 27, 2022, Super Typhoon Odette, and other calamities.
The DHSUD is also pursuing the resettlement of those affected by the earthquake and has signed an MOU with the NHA, Pag-IBIG Fund, the municipalities of Tayum and Bucay in Abra, and the SM Development Corporation (SMDC) for the development of resettlement sites and permanent housing for the affected families in the province.