100 families in S. Cotabato to get ‘dream homes’

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 28 April) – Some 100 informal settler families in Surallah town, South Cotabato province will finally settle into their “dream homes” in the coming days with the completion of a P25-million resettlement housing project in the area funded by the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Surallah, South Cotabato. Map courtesy of Google

NHA officials formally turned over to the municipal government on Tuesday afternoon the 100 newly completed housing units that were built in the 3.5-hectare Kasadya Village Phase 1 in Barangay Dajay, Surallah.

Surallah Mayor Antonio Bendita said the housing project will mainly benefit residents belonging to the poorest among the poor who were situated in identified disaster danger zones in parts of the municipality.

He said he pushed for the development of a resettlement area for the affected families when he first assumed as mayor in 2013 and moved for the purchase of the site.

The local government acquired a five-hectare lot in Barangay Dajay worth P1.9 million, with 3.5 hectares allotted for the housing project.

The mayor, now on his third term, said they coordinated the project with the NHA, which approved a P25-million grant in 2018 under its Resettlement Assistance Program to Local Government Units (RAP-LGU).

The municipal government of Surallah released some P3 million, aside from the site, as project equity.

“It took us six to seven years but we’re very happy that this has finally materialized. These are the dream houses of our beneficiaries,” Bendita said during the simple turnover ceremony.

He assured that the housing units will be awarded to the intended beneficiaries, which will be made through a usufruct agreement.

The recipients cannot sell or mortgage their housing units as these are the sole property of the municipality, he said.

The completed housing project is the first of the two RAP-LGU grants approved so far by the NHA for the area.

The local government signed a memorandum of agreement with the agency last March for the release of an additional P25 million for the construction of 65 to 100 housing units in the same site under the Kasadya Village Project Phase II.

A project briefer said each housing unit, which was built in an 80-square meter lot, costs P280,000.

It has a floor area of 25 square meters and already has a ceiling, wall partition, steel casement windows, painted outer walls, and complete water and power connections.

In a statement, Engr. Zenaida Cabiles, manager of NHA-Region 12 (Soccsksargen), expressed satisfaction over the quality of the housing units, especially in terms of workmanship.

She said Kasadya Village Phase 1 is the first project implemented in the region under the new terms of the RAP-LGU.

“It will be the benchmark for other LGUs in the region opting housing construction under RAP,” she added. (MindaNews)