HOUSING GOALS: Iloilo City Government pursues more shelter projects for Ilonggos

THE Iloilo City Government continues to work on more housing projects to provide decent and affordable homes for the Ilonggos, especially the informal settler families.

So far, the city government already established 33 relocation sites in the metro, two of these are multi-storey vertical resettlements that are soon to be completed.

“I have been mayor for a long time, I know that houses for the informal settlers are very important. So, we vowed that the city government will continue to prioritize it,” said Mayor Jerry P. Treñas.

According to Atty. Peter Jason Millare, head of the Iloilo City Local Housing Office (ICLHO), the 120-unit Uswag Low Rise Residential Building project in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro district is already 91 percent completed and set for turnover to the beneficiaries by August.

The Iloilo City Local Housing Office team headed by Atty. Peter Jason Millare, in one of the meetings together with Executive Assistant Raisa Treñas, discussed and planned strategies relative to the betterment of the community in Barangay Calahunan, Mandurriao district.

The socialized housing project is developed by SM Development Corporation (SMDC), in partnership with project manager CFC ANCOP, as part of its housing balance compliance.

In 2022, the city government raffled the housing units to low-salaried city hall employees. Qualified were those with Salary Grade 8 and below, and with at least five years of service as regular employee by Dec. 31, 2021 (services as job hire included). Also, they must not have real property (no house).

Fifty-nine-year-old Marinette Delos Santos of the City Treasurer’s Office, who was one of the raffle winners of the SMDC housing projects, expressed excitement as the home she had been praying for is now within reach.

Delos Santos, who has been working in the city hall for 27 years now, is residing under one roof with her siblings and niblings.

For her, the home she is about to claim is the best gift she could ever receive for the three special occasions in her life this October 2024 – her birthday, retirement and wedding.

“I really prayed to God for this. I am very happy and thankful to the Treñas administration for prioritizing housing projects,” she said.

Another vertical housing unit is the Uswag Residential Complex in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro. Its construction is undertaken by the National Housing Authority (NHA) and funded under the General Appropriations Act. It was worked out by former senator Franklin Drilon before he stepped down from the Senate.

The project, which has four buildings with 60 units each, or a total of 240 units, is set to be completed in May this year and ready for occupancy by June or July. Priority beneficiaries for this project are informal settlers affected by infrastructure projects in the metropolis, especially those residing along the Iloilo-Batiano River.

With the estimated housing backlogs of 15,000 to 20,000, Treñas said the city government is pursuing more housing projects to achieve the goal.

Just recently, the city government, represented by Treñas, entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Phinma Property Holdings Corporation for the third Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program (4PH) project that will be established in the metro.

Mayor Jerry P. Treñas represented the Iloilo City Government during the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Phinma Property Holdings Corporation for the third 4PH project in the city. Other signatories to the MOA were Undersecretary Roland Samuel Young of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, the Department’s Western Visayas regional director Eva Maria Marfil, Phinma community housing head Luis Oquiñena and chief business development officer Francis Richmond Villegas, and City Administrator Melchor Tan.

To note, the city government has an agreement with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) for the national government’s 4PH: Zero ISF Program for 2028.

According to Mayor Treñas, under the third project, an additional 2,000 housing units will be constructed by Phinma in a property located also in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro.

Treñas stressed that the city government will not spend for the project because it will be the developer who will develop the site and build houses under the turnkey scheme.

The city government’s role is to identify qualified families to avail of the units.

“I am happy with this government program. I will support this, and I think all LGUs (local government units) should support this because it is a chance to give proper housing to our poor residents,” the city mayor emphasized.

Meanwhile, the two other 4PH housing projects in the city will be carried out through a joint venture agreement with Eon Realty Development Corporation and the Ethan Property Developer. Under this scheme, the city government owns the land and the developers will develop the site and build units.

The Iloilo City Government represented by Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and representatives of EON Realty Development Corporation and Ethan Property signed the Joint Certification for the constructions of two condominium buildings for socialized housing in Barangay San Isidro and Petalsville Subdivision, Barangay Tabuc Suba in Jaro district.

These projects, however, will pass through the review and approval of the Public-Private Partnership Center.

Once pushed through, Eon will be constructing 14 towers or condominium buildings of seven-storey each with total of 1,260 housing units in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro; while Ethan will build eight five-storey condo buildings with a total of 952 units in Petalsville Subdivision in Barangay Tabuc Suba, Jaro.

“We still have available lots and we are ready to sit down if there are other interested developers,” the city mayor added.

The city government has already acquired a total of 933,940 square meters of lot totaling to P362,144,423.60 including the acquisition done in 2021 until the present.

So far, more than 8,000 Ilonggo families have benefitted from the various housing programs of the city government, excluding the identified beneficiaries for the vertical resettlement and the upcoming 4PH housing projects.

Under the Treñas administration, the ICLHO was created to improve and upscale the implementation of housing programs and projects and other related services.

The ICLHO is in-charge of facilitating the application process of qualified beneficiaries as defined by the Iloilo City Local Housing Board (ICLHB) by collecting applications, exercising social profiling through data collection of informal settler families and other qualified beneficiaries, surveying relocation sites and danger areas, and presenting the aforementioned to the ICLHB for assessment and proper action./PN


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