Cebu News

Garcia okays shift on plans for city’s housing program

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City government got the commitment of a private company for the city’s housing program following acting Mayor Raymond Garcia’s go signal to proceed with a different “business model.”

This was disclosed by City Councilor Jerry Guardo to The Freeman after Garcia had tasked him to help with the City’s housing program, being the chairman of the Committee on Housing.

Guardo said even as he was already asked to oversee the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), aside from being the chairman of the Committee on Technical Infrastructure, he has gladly extended his help on the housing project.

As such, Guardo laid out their plans, alongside the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DSUD) regional director Lyndon Juntilla, Local Housing Board chairman lawyer Jade Ponce, and DWUP head Butch Librando.

According to Guardo, the president of Arn Builders, Arnold Espinosa committed to help with the City’s problem on housing, especially after the supposed housing project through the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program at the South Road Properties (SRP) has not yet been started.

Aside from ARN, Guardo shared that there are still a lot of untapped individuals that can help the city, with around four to five other contractors also expressing interest.

“Kani nga business model karon, kay naa may mga interested investors, ako na lang gi-simplify. Kani si ARN he bought a property and silay mubuild, and mu-finance for the civil works and kami sa sa City ang mu-identify and endorse the qualified beneficiaries,” said Guardo.

The properties identified are in Barangays Binaliw and Pulangbato.

Former Regional Director of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) Serafin Blanco, on the other hand, had been tapped by ARN for its consultancy to pre-qualify the buyers and for its PAG-IBIG loans.

DSUD’s Juntilla has also expressed support for the other details of the land development.

Guardo further disclosed that they are also looking into joint ventures with private entities since the city government has their own lots. The projects, he said, will be vertical and not horizontal housing to accommodate more.

This housing program will be under the 4PH Housing Program under President Bongbong Marcos’ administration, Guardo said, adding that prospective investors will be accredited, and buyers endorsed by the city government.

“We don’t have the financial capacity to build the structures. So ngita na lang mig partner. Kamo na lay build diha, and amoa ang beneficiary, daghang matabangan aning sa housing. We are simplifying the whole operational system,” said Guardo.

Garcia has already given a go-signal to DWUP to orient all barangays, government offices, and private companies.

Interest Rates under the 4PH Housing Program will be subsidized by the National Government.

“Instead of paying the prevailing interest rate at 6.25 percent per annum, qualified beneficiaries only pay interest rate of 1.25 percent per annum over a maximum of 30 years,” Guardo said.

For other interested individuals, one can inquire at the DWUP office at the Cebu City Hall’s Satellite office. — (FREEMAN)

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