By Filane Mikee Cervantes

FLAGSHIP 4PH. Speaker Martin Romualdez delivers his speech during the site inspection of the San Mateo, Rizal Housing Project under the Marcos administration’s flagship Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino (4PH) Program on Tuesday (June 4, 2024). He said the housing site not only provides decent and affordable shelter for underprivileged Filipino families, but also improved living conditions through amenities commonly found in upper-income subdivisions or condominiums. (Photo courtesy of the Speaker’s Office)

MANILA – Speaker Martin Romualdez on Tuesday said the socialized housing projects under the Marcos administration’s flagship Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino (4PH) Program have improved significantly, with high-quality amenities made affordable to Filipinos.

During the site inspection of the 4PH San Mateo, Rizal Housing Project, Romualdez said the housing site not only provides decent and affordable shelter for underprivileged Filipino families, but also improved living conditions through amenities commonly found in upper-income subdivisions or condominiums, such as a swimming pool, clubhouse, and basketball court.

“Ito ang pangarap ng ating Pangulo: Ang mabigyan ng disenteng tirahan ang mga Pilipino; ang mabigyan sila ng karapatang mamuhay nang may dignidad; ang manirahan kayong lahat sa isang komunidad na payapa at ligtas (This is the dream of our dear President: to provide decent housing for Filipinos; to give them their right to live with dignity; and for them to live in a community that is peaceful and safe),” he said.

He said there are about 170,000 housing units being built in Metro Manila alone, and distributed among 55 locations.

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jerry Acuzar said this is in addition to the thousands of housing units under construction in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including 20 ongoing projects in “various stages of construction and development”.

Romualdez said the national government remains on track with its original target of building 1 million housing units every year until President Marcos’ six-year term ends in 2028, so as to fill the 6.5 million housing backlogs.

Congress will ensure that funds will be available to DHSUD’s projects, even if government financing institutions like Pag-IBIG had pledged PHP250 billion for the BBM socialized housing programs, he said.

Interest subsidy funding

Romualdez also vowed that in future national budgets, the House would include funding for the interest subsidy for beneficiaries of the 4PH program to reduce the prices of housing units and monthly amortization costs.

“I assure you on the part of the House of Representatives, As Speaker of the House, I will guarantee that this interest subsidy will be appropriated in the succeeding national budgets of the republic,” he said.

The DHSUD said housing units to be sold under the 4PH program will be more economically priced than other residential units in the market in keeping with the price ceiling imposed by the government for affordable housing.

Housing loan borrowers who will avail of units under the 4PH program through a Pag-IBIG Housing Loan will enjoy an even lower interest rate than what Pag-IBIG Fund currently provides, which is already considered the lowest in the market, according to DHSUD.

DHSUD will subsidize up to 5 percent of the loan’s outstanding interest rate, allowing borrowers to pay a reduced interest rate on their loans. (PNA)