720,000 to benefit from Yolanda housing program

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


THE Home Mutual Development Fund, also known as Pag-Ibig Fund, has urged land developers to participate in its special low-cost housing program as part of the rehabilitation of areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Pag-Ibig vice president for the Visayas Victoria dela Peña said they expect about 720,000 members to benefit, mostly in Samar and Leyte in Region 8, northern Cebu and Bohol in Region 7 and Capiz and Bacolod in Region 6.

Dela Peña said each house will cost no more than P450,000. The developer must follow the house design set by the agency to make sure this is disaster-resilient.

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Because the funds are limited to P450,000 per unit, she urged local government units (LGUs) to donate land for low-cost housing in their localities where houses of their constituents were blown off by the typhoon.

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Dela Peña said if the LGUs donate the lot, the P450,000 will be used solely to purchase housing materials, which will definitely make the houses stronger.

When sought to comment, Mayor Democrito Diamante of Tuburan, Cebu said he will discuss dela Peña’s request with mayors during their meeting with President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday.

Diamante, president of the League of Municipal Mayors in the Philippines Cebu chapter, said the areas heavily affected by Yolanda last November 8 belong to the fourth district, such as Bogo City and the towns of Tabogon, Medellin, San Remegio, Tabuelan, Daanbantayan, Bantgayan, Sta. Fe and Madridejos.

Tuburan is in the third district, while Borbon, Sogod, Carmen, Catmon and Camotes Island are in the fifth district.

Diamante said he will ask Pag-Ibig if it accepts a lot with only a tax declaration.

“If donation of lands with only tax declarations is acceptable, then we have a very big area in Tuburan, which we can donate for low-cost housing,” he said.

Dela Peña said the Pag-Ibig Fund Board of Trustees led by its chairman, Vice President Jejomar Binay, recently approved the P15-billion special program for members affected by Yolanda.

The low-cost housing can be undertaken through private-public partnerships with top housing project developers; and interest-free home rehabilitation/construction loans for the first six months of the loan then at subsidized interest rates for the next 15 years.

The program also includes a six-month grace period for new calamity loans; and a six-month moratorium on amortization payments for existing housing loans and short-term loans of affected members.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 23, 2014.

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