Gov’t allots P20.8-B for public housing in 2013

THE  national government has allocated P20.8 billion for new public housing next year in the proposed P2.006-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2013.

Rep. Arnel Ty, of the LPG Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) sectoral party, said the amount is nearly three times the P7 billion it is disbursing this year..

Ty, a member of the House committee on housing and urban development, of the P20.8 billion, some P10.1 billion would be spent by the National Housing Authority (NHA) to relocate more than 20,000 underprivileged families living in slums, particularly those in high-risk zones such as along waterways in Metro Manila.

In addition, the NHA would spend another P4.9 billion to provide new homes to a separate batch of more than 33,000 informal settlers in Metro Manila and elsewhere, including households displaced by critical public infrastructure projects, he said.

“The NHA is building in-city multi-level community homes for these hard-up families. The new housing structures will be put up in Rizal province and in the cities of Parañaque, Las Piñas, Pasig, Caloocan, Malabon and Valenzuela,” Ty said.

“We welcome the considerably enlarged funding for public housing, which surely gives more meaning to the mandate of the Constitution for the State to provide disadvantaged families decent and affordable shelter, and improve their living conditions,” he said.

Statistics provided by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) showed that some four million Filipinos or 580,000 families live in slums, including 105,000 households that reside in disaster-prone areas. In Metro Manila alone, 37 out of every 100 inhabitants live in a slum.

Ty said slum dwellers are extremely exposed to filthy living conditions, constant health risks, and the hazards of harsh climate change.

“They also tend to pay more for basic utilities such as water and electricity, have lower productivity, and are exceptionally vulnerable to crime and violence,” he pointed out.

“Under these brutal living conditions, it is no surprise that children in slums have been found to perform poorly in school,” he added.

He said an additional P5.6 billion would be spent to construct housing for some 20,000 families of uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces, National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Bureau of Corrections.

Some P128 million has also been set aside for socio-economic support programs in resettlement sites, he said.

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