Gov, Mayors, Housing Execs Signs MOU for Affordable Homes for Poor

DAVAO ORIENTAL—The Provincial Government has taken the next steps towards the effort of providing decent and affordable homes to the province’s marginalized sector.

On Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang together with town mayors inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with top executives of the Socialized Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) headed by its President Atty. Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling and Vice President for Mindanao Operations Atty. Ronaldo Saco.

The MOU, said Governor Dayanghirang, is the start of the fulfillment of the long-envisioned massive housing project for the poor constituents of Davao Oriental.

He said that this promising housing program offers a solution to the problem of homelessness and lack of decent shelters among marginalized families here which is a primary responsibility of an LGU. Under the Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, the local government units are mandated to implement a comprehensive and continuing urban development program and uplift the conditions of its underprivileged and homeless constituents.

 

In the province of Davao Oriental, excluding the City of Mati, about 35,000 families need affordable housing which the province now target to cater.

With the newly signed MOU which details the role of all stakeholders in the implementation of the SHFC’s Community Mortgage Program (CMP), the Provincial Government is tasked to identify the potential areas for socialized housing and the identification of the beneficiaries as well as validation of information.

Since the program “assists legally-organized associations of underprivileged and homeless citizens”, beneficiaries will be organized into associations.

Qualified beneficiaries are informal settlers living in danger zones, near waterways, near rivers, landslide prone areas or those susceptible to calamities, and areas affected by government infrastructure projects.

“In terms of the program implementation, the LGUs will identify the beneficiaries of the program since they know who lives in danger zones and have the capability to identify the suitable areas for socialized housing because they have the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP),” said Cabling.

Aside from providing the CLUP, among the other responsibilities of the Provincial Government is to provide Local Shelter Plan, Local Climate Change Action Plan and other plans in relation to housing.

Offering flexible and low-cost loan, the beneficiaries, who belong to the low-income bracket, may avail a loanable amount of up to P 350,000 with a 4.5 percent interest per annum payable for 30 years.

The loan package include lot acquisition which is secured by the SHFC who pays the landowner of the site occupied by the association or where the community wishes to relocate; site development loan to defray the community association’s basic land development, power and water facilities; and house construction.

SHFC is a government-owned and controlled corporation mandated under Republic Act No. 7279 or Urban Development and Housing Act to assist legally-organized associations of underprivileged and homeless citizens to purchase and develop a tract of land under the concept of community ownership.

Its primary objective is to assist residents of blighted or depressed areas to own lots they occupy or where they choose to relocate to, and eventually improve their neighborhood and homes to the extent of their affordability.

A LONG-TERM SOLUTION ON HOMELESSNESS

A concrete program to address the perennial problem of homelessness among Filipinos, the CMP is among the many housing solutions offered by the national government under the administration President Rodrigo Duterte.

Governor Dayanghirang said that this housing solution is a laudable effort of the government. He said that through the Provincial Government’s partnership with the SHFC, the province will be able to provide decent shelters to its constituents and address the needs of informal settlers who are among the most marginalized in the country.

Aligned to the Provincial Government’s Governance Framework which aims to address poverty through inclusive governance, the program is seen to also address concerns on peace and security which is among his priority agenda.

“Addressing poverty means we are also addressing insurgency,” the governor said.  By Karen Lou Deloso/Photos by Eden Jhan Licayan

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