ALONG with President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go attended on Friday the groundbreaking ceremony of the relocation site for victims of the 2018 landslide in Naga City.
The government is expected to build 192 housing units in the area to be awarded to some of the families displaced by a landslide in Sitios Sindulan III and Tagaytay of Bgy. Tinaan on September 20, 2018.
Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) trigerred the landslide, which affected more than 8,000 persons and caused the death of more than 70.
“This event is a fulfillment of our promise to provide an affordable and sustainable resettlement site for the victims,” Duterte said in his speech.
Duturte added the beneficiaries will not be required to pay for the housing units.
“I order the National Housing Authority to give as a gift the housing units in the Naga permanent housing project.All of these, the house and the lot, will be given to you for free,” said Duterte.
The victims of the landslide had to be relocated to a two-hectare portion of the Balili property in Bgy. Tinaan because their original settlement had been declared unsafe by the authorities.
The Cebu provincial government donated the property to the city of Naga.
Meanwhile, in support of the administration’s aim to address the need for affordable, accessible and quality housing in the country, Go has filed Senate Bill 203, or the proposed National Housing Development, Production and Financing Act of 2019.
The bill mandates the crafting of a National Housing Development Production and Financing Program to be implemented by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and its attached key shelter agencies.
Based on the proposed measure, NHA will be the lead agency tasked to develop and implement various types of housing programs intended for the bottom 30% of the income population. Some of these programs are resettlements, housing programs for low-salaried government employees, settlements upgrading, housing programs of calamity victims, and land banking.
As for the housing plight of formal and informal sectors in the low-income bracket, the draft legislation mandates the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) to develop, administer and undertake social housing programs that will cater to the housing needs of the poorest of the poor.
The proposed law also tasks the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) to increase the availability of affordable housing loans to finance Filipino homebuyers, and for the DHSUD to manage housing, human settlements and urban development.
To encourage private sector participation in the program, pertinent government agencies are mandated to facilitate the release of the required housing-related permits, licenses, certifications and tax exemptions and rulings in accordance with the Ease of Doing Business Act.
“Dapat sa susunod na mga taon, wala nang squatter sa sariling bayan. This measure aims to address the 6.5-M housing gap over the period of 20 years,” Go said.