True to its commitment to make housing a priority program, the Macapagal Arroyo administration has achieved its goal to provide more decent homes to urban poor communities and the low and middle-income families.
Since she assumed the presidency three years ago, the President has proclaimed more government lands as housing sites, approved the highest amount as home loans to informal settlers, allocated the biggest funding for housing, and implemented lowest interest rates and efficient process in the granting of housing loans. An off-base community housing project has been launched to provide quality and affordable housing units for ordinary military personnel and their families.
As ordered by the President, the following housing agencies have achieved the twin goals of designing innovative financial schemes while cutting into half the processing period:
Since 2001, the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) has funded the construction or purchase of 131, 894 housing units, exceeding by a margin of 3.7 percent its target of 127,165 housing units for the period.
The Pag-IBIG made housing loans more accessible to low-income earner families by bringing down interest rates to their lowest levels. Interest rates now range from 6 percent to 12 percent per annum, depending on the loan amount, are the lowest rates in the market to date.
The Pag-IBIG also reduced the number of required documents and the processing time for housing loan applications to seven working days for certain types of loans.
The institutional and end-user financing programs under the housing for formal sector shall receive P30 billion from Pag-IBIG fund.
The housing fair/ exhibition mounted by Pag-IBIG in key cities abroad aims to encourage overseas Filipinos to join the Pag-IBIG Overseas Program, to promote home ownership among overseas Filipinos, to encourage developers to join the POP Home Matching Program, and to attract investments in the country through the acquisition of a housing unit.
Since January 2001, some 62,861 families have benefited from the various projects under the socialized housing component of the shelter program implemented by the National Housing Authority.
These projects include slum upgrading, sites and services, land tenurial assistance, community land acquisition support, grants-in-aid, cooperative housing, resettlement, emergency housing assistance, housing materials assistance and completed housing units.
The Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), under its regular corporate guaranty programs, has also invested a total of P31.006 billion in its retail and development guaranty lines from January 2001 to June 2003, resulting in the construction of 57,567 shelter security units.
Executive Issuances/ Legislation
As of June 2003, President Macapagal Arroyo signed 46 issuances, proclaiming a total of 22,600 hectares of unused government lands as potential sites for socialized housing. These proclamations secured the tenure of an estimated 202,702 families nationwide.
The National Government Center (NGC) Housing and Land Utilization Act of 2003 is the most recent measure from Congress signed into law by the President. The law finally resolved the status of residents in the NGC area.
Relocation and Resettlement Programs
The program beneficiaries along the North Railway have been relocated to medium-rise resettlement areas in Camarin in Caloocan City. Those along the South Railway have been offered resettlement areas in Tanay, Batangas and Montalban, Rizal.
A record-setting P1.12 billion funds were released by the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) in the previous years to some 28, 312 informal settlers.
An additional 19,529 households are expected to benefit from the issuance of letters of guarantee to pay the amount of loans applied for, totaling P597 million, upon completion of requirements.
The said amount, which is the highest under any administration for a similar period, represents loans granted under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) to finance the development of 209 urban poor settlements nationwide.
Housing for Soldiers
The government has distributed 1,206 housing units to soldiers and their families under its socialized housing packages in just two years. About 17,000 soldiers and their families would be the direct beneficiaries of four off-base housing projects located at Camp Riego de Dios in Tanza, Cavite; Camp Aquino in San Miguel, Tarlac; Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro; and the AFP Officers Village in Taguig, Metro Manila.
Three government housing projects are currently on various stages of development. These are the NAMRIA property in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City which will have 5,000 units on a seven-hectare area; Camp Claudio in Paranaque City where 477 lots are currently being developed; and the 2,800 lots in Camp Riego de Dios in Tanza, Cavite.
Ten other areas under the technical evaluation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the HUDCC would be utilized as off-base housing for the AFP personnel. These areas are expected to generate more than 58,000 single detached housing units with a lot area of 50 square meters each. These areas are in Fort San Felipe in Cavite City; Naval Station in San Miguel, Zambales; Naval Station in Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur; Fort Sto. Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna; Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City; Camp Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz; Fort del Pilar in Baguio City; Fort Bonifacio in Makati City; Camp Downes in Ormoc
City; and Camp Lukban in Samar.