“Ukay-Ukay, Lupa @ Bahay”

Left: Typical Informal Settler's House; Middle: " Bahay sa  Estero" Right: "  Below standard Resettlement Area

Left: Typical Informal Settler’s House
Middle: ” Bahay sa Estero”
Right: ” Below standard Resettlement Area

There are more than 100,000 families living along the rivers, canals and  Esteros of Manila. The poor quality of shanties are least 600,000 units , majorities are informal settlers. There are also undetermined number of poor, homeless persons, who stay and try to survive on the streets.  Millions of minimum wage earners and workers who either rent, co-rent or  live in their parents/relatives home, because it is difficult to buy even, a low-cost house that is worth less than  P1million, say an affordability price of P 500,000.

A Nicely Built NHA Housing Unit in Camuigin

A Nicely Built NHA Housing Unit in Camuigin

This is not amusing since the projection of the President is to relocate 100,000 squatter families at a cost of P50billion, by the year 2016. It simply means there are only 3 years left to relocate 92,000 “estero families”.  The project is obviously on a snail-pace and they should not forget the other 600,000 plus informal settlers and the homeless.

On a bright side, Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista, is leading the way when he started the “Bistekville Projects”.  The 1st batch of houses was distributed to a wide range of low-income Filipinos including teachers and ordinary government workers.

As Mayor Bistek said, “Bisktekville was also built for ordinary employees who could not afford to buy a house.

Just recently, the QC Mayor formed a partnership with Phinma Properties Inc. for the design and construction of the cities largest socialized housing project, Bistekville-II, Brgy. which is located at Kaligayahan, Novaliches, and Quezon City.

The project is set to benefit more than over a thousand underprivileged family-beneficiaries, including the informal settler-families that ” squat” or occupy the property.

“Bistekville II was put up to respond to the call of delivering adequate, affordable and decent housing especially to the poorest sector of the society. We take part in the housing efforts of Quezon City in providing safe, ‘concrete’ roof for the thousands of our urban poor,” PHINMA Properties President and CEO Willie J. Uy said.

Bistekville 2 designed by Phinma

Bistekville 2 designed by Phinma

As of July this year, 456 units out of the 894 socialized housing units were already built and 180 families have moved in.

 Phinma Properties is set to complete the project that will have a total of 1,078 mixed housing units: 703 one-storey units and 6 three-storey buildings with 375 condo units.

An average unit has a lot area of 27 sq. meters, fit to accommodate a family with five members. Through the housing loan package from Home Mutual Development Fund (PAG-IBIG), a socialized housing unit will cost P400,000, with a monthly amortization of  P2,500 per month with up to 30 years to pay depending on the age and income of the beneficiary.

“The way to respond to the problem of informal settlements is not to simply relocate them to far-flung areas, away from economic opportunities that are clearly centered in the city. Towards providing long-term solution to the problem of urban, slum settlements is to integrate them in the urban landscape with provision of clean water, livelihood, as well as a safe environment. By doing this we provide them access to a better, well-dignified life,” said by PHINMA Properties President and CEO Willie J. Uy.

Another advocate for affordable, durable low-cost housing is PRO FRIENDS. It was founded in 1999 by Gerry Choa and a group of friends who believed in creating communities and transforming lives of the Filipino families. Their aim is to give the “best dream home packaged with unmatched convenience in strategic location; quality homes at friendly rates.

The company had small pocket developments, to medium rise condominiums and townhouses, in order to meet the different tastes and needs of the Filipino home buyers.

Examples of the mid-range offered are the Carmona Estates valued at P1.1M; Manticello Villas at P800K; the Lancaster estate at P909,150  and the Bellefast Estate at P 1 M pesos.

Bistekville II was put up to respond to the call of delivering adequate, affordable and decent housing especially to the poorest sector of the society. “The way to respond to the problem of informal settlements is not to simply relocate them to far-flung areas, away from economic opportunities that are clearly centered in the city. Towards providing long-term solution to the problem of urban, slum settlements is to integrate them in the urban landscape with provision of clean water, livelihood, as well as a safe environment. By doing this we provide them access to a better, well-dignified life,” said by Phinma Properties President and CEO Willie J. Uy.

IMG_4981

Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service, Board Member, Ramon CF Cuervo III in support for Chairman of the HUDCC, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Jejomar C. Binay has urged local chief executives to adopt the ‘HGC-Virac model’ to address the housing needs of Filipinos in the countryside. Binay gave the message during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement signing and turnover ceremony between the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), represented by its president Atty. Manuel R. Sanchez, and the municipality of Virac, Catanduanes, represented by Mayor Jose U. Alberto II. The housing agency sold a long-held, non-performing asset through negotiated sale to Virac LGU, which will use the property for its own housing program. The nine-hectare site, Our Lady’s Village IV-B, located in San Isidro Village, Virac, has been earmarked as a relocation site for Virac’s informal settlers, evacuation site for residents living along coastal and low-lying areas, low-cost housing site for municipal employees and for other public purposes. VP Binay, who also sits as Vice-Chairman of the HGC Board, hailed the turnover as a good example of “national-local partnership” for addressing the country’s housing needs.

Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Jejomar C. Binay has urged local chief executives to adopt the ‘HGC-Virac model’ to address the housing needs of Filipinos in the countryside.

During the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement signing and turnover ceremony between the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), the municipality of Virac, Catanduanes, represented by Mayor Jose U. Alberto II, VP Binay said “The housing agency sold a long-held, non-performing asset through negotiated sale to Virac LGU, which will use the property for its own housing program. The nine-hectare site, Our Lady’s Village IV-B, located in San Isidro Village, Virac, has been earmarked as a relocation site for Virac’s informal settlers, evacuation site for residents living along coastal and low-lying areas, low-cost housing site for municipal employees and for other public purposes.

And just last October 24, Vice President Jejomar Binay together with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno lead a groundbreaking ceremony for a five-storey low-rise building that will house informal settlers relocated from Vitas dumpsite.

Mayor Estrada; VP Jejomar Bnay and Vice-Mayor Moreno: Grounbreaking Rites At Tondo:for the relocated Vitas settlers

Mayor Estrada; VP Jejomar Bnay and Vice-Mayor Moreno: Grounbreaking Rites At Tondo:for the relocated Vitas settlers

In the private sector, an advocate for affordable, durable low-cost housing is PRO FRIENDS. It was founded in 1999 by a group of friends who believed in creating communities and transforming lives of the Filipino families. Their aim is to give the “best dream home packaged with unmatched convenience in strategic location; quality homes at friendly rates.

The company had small pocket developments, to medium rise condominiums and townhouses, in order to meet the different tastes and needs of the Filipino home buyers.

A 800K Basic Unit at Carmona. PROFRIEND developers

A 800K Basic Unit at Carmona. PRO FRIENDS developers

PROFRIENDS Chairman Mr. Gerry Choa said “I believe that success in the real estate industry lies in truly caring one’s clients”.

Looking at the sites and type of houses built by PROFRIENDS, it is satisfactory at the price range of P800-1M targeted for the lower and middle class sectors.

But as a real estate consultant, I strongly recommend, that Housing Development will fuel the Economic Growth and progress of the Philippines. As an industry, it has forward and backward linkages that will generate Jobs, Services, Business, Industry, Trade and Manufacturing.

IMG_5444

Realtor Ramon CF Cuervo III sharing a light moment with Senator Bongbong Marcos.

Like the Ministry of Human Settlements, during the Marcos administration, I believe that a Department of Housing and Urban Development is an essential Government Body. The HUDCC must be transformed into a Department of Housing.

Our proposal, is for the government, LGU’s, developers and private institutions, once-and-for-all, must have a unified Master plan. This way several sectors and units can develop durable, safe & affordable,  housing and township projects.

I am certain that we will meet, and supply the housing needs of The Urban poor, if we have the political will to do so. Housing need and demand for those living in the esteros, informal settlers, the streets/pavements, low income Filipinos, daily-wage earners and even professionals must be a priority agenda of the Government.

The houses should have a solid foundation and structure that will last at least 50 years or more. The size of the lot area should be around 25-35 square meters preferably with 2 floors. The design should be simple but has the flexibility to be turned into a beautiful, expandable dwelling place. The housing units can be in a form of a tenement or mini city, low-cost subdivision; with single or detached houses or townhouses with all the requirements/amenities of a good housing site, including livelihood projects.

Most important of all is the alocation of the budget. I highly recommend that cost per unit should be pegged at P500,000 with an amortization between P500-5000 pesos/month, depending on the capacity to pay, and spread over 30 years or more, with very minimal or no interest.

There are different alternatives in building low-cost homes such as utilizing container vans that are transformed into homes and prefabricated housing units.

Tyler Unit - Prefabricated House @ P250,00 up by Vasbuilt

Tyler Unit – Prefabricated House @ P250,00 up by Vasbuilt

A good, steel framed house will cost at least P4,500 /square meter. Where 1 story-house will cost P90,000.  Adding the cost of the foundation for safety and finishings, fixtures, labor, the total costs will be P150-200k per unit. This is still below the affordability range of say P 300K to  P500k socialized houses.

Affordable, Prefabricated Housing by SMARTHOMES

Affordable, Prefabricated Housing by SMARTHOMES

The advantage of a pre-fabricated house is the ease in installation, uniformity, re-usable and can be transported from one area to another. It can be use as instant housing for calamity stricken cities like Bohol.

The only drawback is its durability. Pre-fab units, whether it’s made of plasterboard or wood has only 20-30 years duration, compared to a well-built, conventional hollow-block and wooden type of houses, which can last for more than 50 years and build on Hazard free sites.

Nevertheless, despite the constraints, a container van or a pre-fabricated house is definitely much better than living in dangerous, life threatening  locations  such as along the river banks or Esteros.

collage1

I urged the private sector and groups like OSHDP & SHDA to continue doing their job and advocacy . We hope with the help of our government , the private developers may  fulfill  their mandate ,  to provide sustainable and suitable settlements or township developments. It is good to look into an expansion, away from Metro Manila, into provincial  regional Developments and establishment of new cities ,  with an Economic base for the Livelihood of the Settlers.

allied-shdaUnfortunately, as we have been following in the NEWS these days, about the Pork Barrel Scandal , were so much time and money is wasted  due to politicking, graft and corruption. Our Tax  payers money , has been wasted for the personal benefit of  greedy politicians and government civil servants. Without looking into their conscience and caring for the majority of the poor , homeless and those who suffer.

 People need to rest at the end of the day, and the best way is to go to a place where there is security and safety.  A place, where every Filipino dreams of, a place he can truly say “I am at home”.

We read at “Isaiah 32:18 : ” My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places”.

wwwlovewinsdotasia

This is but a snapshot of the tremendous need for urban housing in Metro Manila.

Compendium no.182. Preferential option for the poor should be reaffirmed in all its force (Pope John Paul II. Address to the Third General Conference of Latin American Bishops, Puebla, Mexico January 28, 1979.). It applies equally to our social responsibilities… and to the logical decisions to be made concerning the ownership and the use of goods. (land)… For the needy, the homeless, those without health care and, above all, those with out hope of a better future (Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis)

 source: tourism-philippines.com www.panoramio.com  Gawad Kalinga

“The Vision of Gawad Kalinga is building a nation, empowered by people with faith and patriotism; a nation made up of caring and sharing communities dedicated to eradicate poverty and restore human dignity”.
“With a mission to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024 and provide Land for the Landless;Homes for the Homeless and Food for the Hungry”.

If you wish to see more ,please click this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW5qoAKRSKE

THANK YOU, and may you always be Safe, Secure and Happy in your Homes.

A house is not a home without a happy family.

A house is not a home without a happy family.

source:

tourism-philippines.com

http://www.panoramio.com

Gawad Kalinga

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