BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – This highly-urbanized provincial capital of Negros Occidental has become the first among 146 cities in the country to formally start a mass housing (pabahay in Filipino) after sitting Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez signed recently a joint venture agreement with WRS Holdings, Inc. and Scheirman Construction Consolidated Incorporated (SCCI) under the Private Public Partnership (PPP) scheme for the construction of 20,000 units to be done in two batches.
The project here is part of Pambansang Pabahay Program of the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD) that aims to deliver on the promise of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration to provide housing to all informal settlers by 2028.
Benitez said that this is a big step in fulfilling his promise to Bacoleños during the election campaign to provide decent homes for the estimated 50,000 families of informal settlers once called urban poor or squatters.
Councilor Al Victor Espino, a key Benitez ally, said 10,000 units will be constructed in Vista Algere village and at the Reclamation Area and will cost P10 billion and will be funded by the DHSUD.
Espino said this program will attract more potential investors here and will eventually spur economic activities.
Informal settler families who earn a daily minimum wage or P12, 000 a month with a substantial take home pay prior to deduction of the monthly amortization are the primary target beneficiaries provided they are or will become members of the Pag-IBIG Fund.
The following are the important provisions in the PPP arrangement between the City and the Scheirman Consortium as reported by the Bacolod City Public Information Office
- The Asenso Yuhum Housing Program is the contribution of the City of Bacolod to the Pambansang Pabahay Program of Pres. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. administration, which isstrongly pushed by the DHSUD and actively supported by the National Home Development Mutual Fund, commonly known as Pag-IBIG Fund;
- DSHUD will provide some subsidy to ISFs qualified to take-out housing loans from Pag-IBIG;
- The City of Bacolod will provide the land upon which the human settlement/housing units will be built;
- The Scheirman consortium will provide Php2 Billion to support its commitment to build human settlements/housing units for the ISFs of Bacolod City, in two (2) sets of 10,000 units each. The constitution of the Buildings shall be undertaken by private proponent at no cost to the City of Bacolod and DSHUD; and
- The human settlement is a mixed of housing units, commercial spaces and open spaces, and on the revenues from commercial spaces, the city will have a share of ten percent (10%).
Mayor Benitez, DHSUD and Pag-ibig had signed the Memorandum Of Agreement for the implementation of this program in November, last year.