Additional P20M earmarked for housing project in Koronadal

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 21 October) – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) is set to release an additional P20 million grant to augment the ongoing development of a resettlement housing project for informal settlers here.

Koronadal Mayor Eliordo Ogena. Photo from the Koronadal City Facebook page

DHSUD Secretary Eduardo del Rosario personally announced the supplementary funding during the formal groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday afternoon for the construction of housing units at the 2.8-hectare Koronadal Cityville Resettlement Project in Barangay New Pangasinan.

He said the funds will be utilized for the provision of support facilities at the housing site such as road networks, drainage, water lines, and electrical connections.

It is on top of the P50 million released by the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the construction of 170 rowhouse-type housing units in the area under the project’s first phase, he said.

“It complements with our mandate of building communities with adequate support facilities and making sure that they are accessible to various infrastructure being provided by the local and national governments,” del Rosario said in his speech.

Under the project, the NHA, an attached agency of the DHSUD, approved a grant of P25 million to the city government and an additional P25 million funding that will be repaid by the housing beneficiaries through an affordable financing scheme.

Del Rosario said the financing term is for 30 years and with the beneficiaries only paying “less than P300” monthly.

He assured that the housing units will be constructed based on government standards, especially in terms of quality and safety.

“The beneficiaries will be very proud of the place because it will be decent and yet very affordable,” he said.

The housing project, which initially broke ground for the site development last March, is a joint undertaking of the NHA and the city government.

Zenaida Cabiles, NHA-Region 12 manager, said the agency started working on the initiative as early as 2017 and it was eventually approved for funding last January under the Resettlement Assistance Program for Local Government Units.

She said the first phase, which covers 1.59 hectares, will have 170 housing units intended for residents affected by the rehabilitation of the Blok Creek, a critical waterway traversing the city’s downtown area.

Each unit will have a floor area of 24.3 square meters and with a modal lot size of 40 square meters, she said.

Cabiles said the construction of the houses officially started last Oct. 1 and is due for completion in 600 calendar days or on May 23, 2023.

City Mayor Eliordo Ogena expressed gratefulness to the national government, through the DHSUD and NHA, for supporting the local government’s efforts to provide decent and affordable housing for the poor informal settler families here.

He said the city government will continue to look for ways to enhance and eventually expand the housing project.

“We are thankful because this is just the start of our collaboration (with DHSUD and NHA),” Ogena said.

Del Rosario arrived here on Thursday for a two-day swing, which coincides with the regional celebration of National Shelter Month.

He graced the culmination program on Thursday afternoon of the 1st Soccsksargen Housing and Human Settlements Summit and will join the 1st Soccsksargen Housing Fair: HanapBahay 2021 on Friday morning. (MindaNews)