There has been news that President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to provide housing plans for special military units, policemen, and soldiers for their service. This project, which has been planting in different parts of the country was not fully expounded by authorities.

Read: President Rodrigo Duterte’s Housing Project For Soldiers And Policemen

On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Rodrigo Duterte signed a joint resolution of Congress which authorizes the National Housing Authority (NHA) to award qualified beneficiaries who are in need of shelter all unoccupied housing units that the soldiers and police do not want to avail.

Also covered by the joint resolution was units whose ownership and possession are surrendered by awardees and respective awards were canceled.

Image: Manila Bulletin News

The resolution states that unawarded housing units, awarded housings that are not yet occupied by beneficiaries from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and whose ownership and possession are surrendered by their respective awardees in favor of another housing project, and housing units whose respective awards were cancelled due to their owners’ failure to pay amortization or violation of terms and conditions of loan agreement, shall be awarded to qualified beneficiaries.

The housing need faced by the country is too huge to be ignored and it will, without doubt, serve public good and welfare if aforestated housing projects… are awarded by the NHA (National Housing Authority) to other low-salaried government employees and other qualified beneficiaries, giving priority to those belonging to the lowest 30 percent of the urban income earners,” the resolution reads.

The resolution prioritizes government employees occupying positions with a low salary grade. The resolution refers to low-salaried government representatives like public school teachers, workers of the city or district that has purview over the housing venture or project, barangay officials and representatives, informal settlers in the territory where the project is located, underprivileged and destitute families in urban focuses and those dislodged by government framework ventures, as among the individuals who might be granted with the housing units.

The NHA was given six days to formulate the guidelines for the proper awarding of the said housing units.

As per the Commission on Audit (COA) report, this underscored the low occupancy rate of completed housing units. For 2016 alone, the COA said that the 62,472 completed housing units, only 7,143 were occupied and the unoccupied units totaled 55,329.

The Department of Budget and Management said Php20.779 billion was discharged to finance housing projects for cops, soldiers, and other uniformed personnel as of March 31, 2017. The monetary allowance was distributed for the working of 74,195 housing units.

A separate report from NHA showed that of the 74,195 housing units, 68,836 was already completed as of July 31, 2017. Of the completed units, only 8,837 are occupied.

COA concluded that the low occupancy rate of the completed housing units will result in the loss of opportunity for government to recover costs that can be spent for other social projects, fast deterioration of the units, exposure of the units to the risk of being occupied by families/persons other than the intended beneficiaries, and deprivation of the intended beneficiaries of the timely use of and benefits from the program,” the resolution read.

The joint resolution was passed by the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution No. 08 on Dec. 11, 2017, and adopted by the House of Representatives as an amendment to House Joint Resolution No. 15 on Jan. 17, 2018.

The move is to prevent unapproved inhabitants from assuming control over government housing ventures like what individuals from Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) did in Pandi, Bulacan.

The president likewise guaranteed to give a superior housing project to officers and policemen. In conclusion, the President is decided in providing utmost support and care for our country’s protectors. Stay tuned to follow what comes next.

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