Amid trials, Binay bares successes in housing
MANILA, Philippines–The government has built 750,000 homes over the past four years, according to a report by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The agency announced the accomplishments of the government’s shelter agencies last Friday as Binay continued to battle corruption charges in a Senate inquiry into alleged irregularities in Makati when he was the city’s mayor.
The HUDCC said 749,965 homes had been built since 2010, with the government spending P358 billion for the projects.
On the other hand, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Social Security System had disposed of 9,152 acquired properties valued at more or less P2 billion, the report said.
“The government housing sector is very grateful for the support given by the President in the housing programs of the shelter agencies. These achievements would not have happened without the support of the President,” Binay, President Aquino’s housing czar, said in a statement on Friday.
In previous interviews, President Aquino had credited Binay for the achievements of his administration’s housing program.
Informal settlers benefited
According to Binay, the government’s socialized housing production arm, the National Housing Authority (NHA), had reported that 360,630 families received housing assistance equivalent to P49.2 billion.
He said the NHA programs benefited informal settlers, especially those living in danger zones, and families affected by calamities. Soldiers and policemen were also among the beneficiaries of government housing programs, he said.
The Pag-Ibig Fund, the state-owned housing lender, delivered 215,695 homes worth P153.7 billion, Binay said.
He said Pag-Ibig built the homes without receiving funds from the national government, using instead financing programs, including the Affordable Housing Program.
Pag-Ibig also increased its maximum loanable amount to P6 million and lowered its interest rates, he said.
Meanwhile, the Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC), the shelter agency that engages communities to organize for secure tenure, provided P3 billion to enable 49,294 informal settler families to buy land and build homes under community ownership.
The SHFC also granted loans worth P121 million to 1,756 informal settler families in danger zones in Metro Manila, Binay said.
The Vice President acknowledged the crucial role the private sector plays in housing.
Private sector encouraged
“The government cannot do it alone. It is for this reason that we encourage the private sector to undertake and finance mass housing developments,” Binay said.
Two state-run shelter agencies—the Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC) and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. (NHMFC)—deal with private institutions, such as banks and developers.
In the last four years, the HGC guaranteed P153 billion in housing loans, equivalent to 124,346 homes, and expanded its guaranty coverage to include loans of rural banks and microfinance institutions, Binay said.
The NHMFC bought P2.7-billion seasoned housing loan receivables equivalent to 12,386 homes, he said.
The asset pool was turned into marketable securities called Bahay Bonds, which are available to small and big investors.
“The shelter agencies instituted reforms and implemented innovative programs to maximize generation of housing units according to their mandate,” Binay said.
Since July 2010, 2,749 licenses to sell equivalent to 777,931 homes were issued by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, the regulatory body on housing development, Binay said.
“We are confident that the reforms, coupled with the new programs we have put in place, will encourage the players in the sector to put more investment in housing that will in the long run address the housing need,” Binay said.
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