THE Bacolod City Council will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 7, for the proposed joint venture agreement (JVA) between the local government and WRS Holding Inc. for the city's housing project.

This, after the City Council held a special session Monday, March 6, for the proposed JVA with the legal opinion from the City Legal Office (CLO) and the P4-Selection Committee resolution, and a request for authority for the city mayor to sign the same.

Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairperson of the City Council committee on laws, said once it is approved by the council, construction on the housing project will begin.

"It's an enormous project because we are talking about 10,000 housing units for the Information Settler Families (ISFs) or the P10 billion in funding coming from the national government," he said.

He added that this will be the first, not only in Bacolod City, but also in the country, so it's a very monumental piece of legislation that they will do Tuesday.

Espino noted that the WRS Holding, which is based in Manila, has already implemented projects in some cities.

The public hearing will be attended by the representative of WRS Holding, barangay officials, and stakeholders, among others.

Councilor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, chairperson of the City Council committee on appropriation and finance, said WRS Holding is a corporation that submitted an unsolicited proposal to the city government for the construction of the housing project.

He said the WRS Holding offered a public-private partnership with the city government, adding that the city government will provide the land and the WRS Holding will construct the building.

Sayson noted that after the completion of the project, the city’s recipients will process with the Pag-Ibig that will pay with the WRS Holding.

"For me, it’s a very good program because there will be no cash-out from the city government. The city will only provide a location for the said project that will be constructed in Barangay Vista Alegre and Barangay Banago," Sayson said.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez earlier said that as long as they can comply with all the requirements from the national government, the city can finish the housing project this year with a total P10 billion budget.

Aside from the three identified housing sites—Barangay Vista Alegre, Barangay 8, and Barangay Banago—he said the Bacolod Old-Airport is also part of the housing program.

He added that they will prioritize the ISFs in the coastal areas.*