By lovely a. carillo
The National Social Housing Finance (NSHF) Corporation is eyeing an additional P1 billion budget for Mindanao’s socialized housing program to address the increasing number of informal sectors in the island.
“The previous administration set a P50 billion fund assistance to informal communities in NCR but none for Visayas and Mindanao,” newly-appointed NSHF President Arnulfo Ricardo Cabling said in an interview.
He plans to request an additional P1 billion budget each for Visayas and Mindanao. We have to balance the funds since we also have informal sectors in the provinces, he said.
Cabling said he is set to reorganize the NHSF due to the concentration of personnel only in the National Capital Region with 250 people, but only six regular employees in Davao City, three regular and three contractuals in Cagayan de Oro and almost the same number in Zamboanga and other provincial offices in Visayas and Mindanao. He stressed on the need to farm out these positions to bring services to the people in the countryside.
Cabling met with members of the city council headed by Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte to make sure the effort to farm out socialized housing in the provinces specifically Davao City will have legislative support. Davao City is one of the priority areas since it is an area of development.
He said the Corporation needs the legislative commitment of the Council since areas with informal communities need the Preliminary Approval and Locational Clearance (PALC) before the NSHF can provide funding.
“We have to fast track and focus on the underprivileged community because they are the ones affected by development and dislocation and demolition problems that go with it,” he said.
He said there is a need to consistently educate the informal settlers about the benefits available to them since not all of them are socially prepared. Others do not want to accept government housing projects because they do not understand that this is not for free and should be paid although at a very minimal rate.