BY ROGER M. BALANZA
About 3,000 homeless poor jam-packed Davao City’s recreation Center on September 21, during a Public Forum on Social Housing organized by the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC).
The forum focused on the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), the SHFC flagship program on socialized housing that aims to cut down the number of the country’s homeless families.
Most of the participants were members and officers of homeowners associations which have pending or approved housing loans with SHFC. The CMP uses as conduit for the housing loans the homeowners associations which number about 100 in Davao City.
The event dubbed “SHFC-DAVAO SHELTER PARTNERSHIP PUBLIC FORUM,” led by SHFC president lawyer Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling, was held at the Almendras Gym (Davao City Recreation Center).SHFC, which handles low-cost housing loans for the country’s homeless poor, is a line agency of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) headed by chairman Eduardo del Rosario.
Providing a home to homeless Filipinos is among the top priority programs of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The major focus of the forum was SHFC’s huge funds available for lending that a Local Government Unit (LGU) can avail of for its socialized housing program.
Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste’ Duterte, the event Guest Speaker and who sits as Acting City Mayor, thanked SHFC for its socialized housing program that benefited the Dabawenyos.
His Speech was read for him by City Councilor Jesus Joseph Zozobrado III, chairman of the Davao City Council Committee on Housing and Urban Development.
For his part, Zozobrado said his committee and members of the Davao City Council would extend help to homeowners associations seeking permits from the legislative body.
City Hall officials who joined the forum were Roy Ryan Rigor II, Assistant Coordinator/City Planning and Development Office, who welcomed the participants; and Elsie Du, head of the City Housing and Homesite Office.
SHFC officials who contributed inputs during the event were Margo Babao, Chief, Loan administration Department; Lawrence Baniso, Senior Vice President, Mindanao Area Operation Department; Atty. Ronaldo Saco, Legal Partners Policy Enforcement. Gerald Amba, OIC, Region XI South Area Operations, moderated the forum.
SHFC President Cabling’s discussion of the New CMP Modalities became the major focus of the forum. His announcement that the SHFC Board of Directors has approved a resolution pruning down housing loan interest from 6% to 4.5% was loudly applauded by the participants.
Cabling, a Dabawenyo like President Duterte, also offered the loan to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to fund her low-cost housing project to the homeless among the city’s 1.7 million population. The center of trade and commerce in Southern Mindanao, Davao City’s housing woes have been increased by migration of people from other areas looking for opportunities in Mindanao’s most progressive city.
Cabling is no stranger to the city’s social housing woes, having been for nine years as City Councilor chaired the Davao City Council Committee on Housing and Urban Development. Cabling is also the author of the Davao City Shelter Code that mapped out the city’s policies on housing and urban development. The latest amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) was also hammered out by the committee of Cabling.
Also to be presented in the forum will be the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), the centerpiece of SHFC’s program for the homeless poor Filipinos, that offers low-interest, long-term house-and-lot loan packages through homeowners associations.
SHFC-DAVAO SHELTER PARTNERSHIP PUBLIC FORUM is the latest of the nationwide road tour that SHFC has been conducting to promote CMP and the SHFC’s loan package for LGU socialized housing programs.