To set P1B fund to subsidize amortization for gov’t low-cost homes
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he is looking at a P1 billion subsidy to reduce monthly amortizations for recipients of the government’s low-cost housing units.
President Marcos made this pronouncement during the groundbreaking ceremony of a housing project under the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) Program.
The President said that he and Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar are studying the creation of the fund to subsidize beneficiaries who cannot afford the monthly amortization on the housing units.
“We are still left with the fact that many of our beneficiaries will still not be able to afford the monthly amortization of these units,” Marcos said, reiterating his vow to provide “decent and affordable housing for every Filipino family.”
“Perhaps, if we find a funding source, we will allot P1 billion to start with the distribution of subsidies for our future tenants,” he said.
President Marcos thanked the DHSUD for leading the national government’s flagship housing program, and the Quezon City local government for its allocation of land and financial resources for the housing project.
He also urged Congress to include housing interest support as part of the regular appropriations in succeeding years.
President Marcos then emphasized that the development of sustainable human settlements would help his administration realize its bid to build “better, more resilient, and more equitable communities.”
The Batasan Development Urban Renewal Master Plan, spearheaded by the DHSUD, will see the completion of three main sites at the Batasan Road Development, NGC-West Controlled Economic Zone, and the Manotoc Property.
The first phase of the Batasan area’s redevelopment will include the construction of two 33-story buildings with a total of 2,160 housing units planned to become both commercial and residential.
The plans include the use of the lot’s ground floor for the improved terminal for the Batasan Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (BaTODA).
The BaTODA members will be among the priority beneficiaries of the project.
President Marcos said that the groundbreaking of the first phase of the Batasan Development Urban Renewal Plan is “only the beginning of one of the largest projects” under the government’s flagship housing program.
“Slowly but surely, we will be able to achieve our greatest aspirations for the nation, including the dream for decent and affordable housing for every Filipino family,” he said.
“Those living here in the surrounding areas will have complete access to markets, to schools, to hospitals and various means of making income so they will prosper and get to see their goals and dreams come to life,” Marcos said.
Acuzar said the monthly amortization could be lowered with the help of an interest subsidy. With such a subsidy, instead of P8,000, a family could pay P3,500 to P4,000, he said.
“We are looking for ways to include an interest subsidy in the housing program. This is very important as this could lower monthly amortizations,” he said in Filipino. “It’s not free but people will pay at a lower price.”
“This project is proof that we do not just aim to bridge the housing gap—we also exhaust all efforts to ensure that we renew our urban spaces to help improve the lives of our countrymen,” Acuzar said.
“We are trying our best to see what we can do to reinvent Metro Manila’s landscape… Our problem does not stop at providing quality and affordable homes, we also need to ensure that all projects lean toward urban development,” he added.
Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Tuesday expressed confidence that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s target of building 6 million housing units during his six-year administration is attainable.
“Our target: one million housing units every year. This is an ambitious target, but I am very confident we can achieve this through our unity in purpose and the cooperation of all stakeholders in the program,” he said.
“President Marcos is addressing the country’s woes on all fronts almost simultaneously: food security, foreign investments, jobs and livelihood, public order and safety, health and social protection, and now social services like housing,” Romualdez added.
He promised that Congress would support the President’s programs.
“This is how we move forward, this is how we move mountains,” he said.
He said President Marcos, from Day One of his administration, “has instructed all of us in government service to move heaven and earth to ensure that affordable housing units will be available to homeless Filipinos.”
He said the presidential directive has borne fruit.
“Thanks to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., what used to be a dream for our marginalized countrymen will soon turn into a reality,” he said.
Also on Tuesday, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto said the government’s reported plan to sell off its non-performing assets should be “curated well” so it would not lead to a “fire sale” of state-owned land, businesses and franchises.
“The rule in privatization is that we should not be selling the geese that lay the golden eggs,” Recto said.
“We should be careful that what remains of state crown jewels are not included in a baratilyo sale simply because we are raising funds for a project,” he said.
When conducting an inventory of what can be sold, the strategic value of a company “should come ahead of the chance to make a fast buck out of the sale,” Recto said, adding that the government had a stewardship role to fulfill for succeeding generations.