A triumph for the homeless


P100M for urban poor housing in Davao City P3 billion loan

By ROGER M. BALANZA

Davao City’s homeless urban poor would not be left out in the coming P3 billion bank loan of the city government, with P100 million of the loan earmarked for socialized housing programs.

The Davao City Council last week gave authority to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to take out the loan, the biggest ever by the city government, to fund developmental projects.

Councilor Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling said councilors, requested by Duterte to identify projects to be financed by the loan, okayed his recommendation that P100 million of the loan be utilized to fund socialized housing for the urban poor.

Cabling, chair of the committee on housing, rural and urban development, said housing fund would be handled by the City Local Housing Board, the body tasked by the City Shelter Code to handle socialized housing.

The landmark Shelter Code authored by Cabling, aims to address urban housing woes targeting homeless families living as informal settlers in government and private lands.

Under its Urban Land Reform Program in compliance with the Urban Housing Development Act (UDHA), Duterte had allocated about P500 million in purchase of relocation sites and loan assistance to on-site settlers of lands whose owners agreed to sell.

The P100 million fund for housing is the second biggest news for our poor homeless families, said Cabling, adding the Shelter Code approved only this year was warmly welcomed by informal settlers, NGOs working with the homeless and the public.

The Shelter Code, chaired by Duterte, was crafted by Cabling with the help of urban poor associations and NGOs tackling urban poor housing.

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