MANILA — Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso and Vice Mayor Dr. Maria Sheilah ‘Honey’ Lacuna-Pangan led the inauguration and unit awarding ceremony at BaseCommunity, the city’s first townhouse-style horizontal housing project at the Baseco Compound, on Monday, July 5.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the BaseCommunity Park was also held on the same day.
The property — located in Barangay 649 Zone 68, Bagong Lupa, Baseco, Port Area — boasts 229 two-story housing units. It is a realization of the mayor’s promise to address the city’s housing problem by providing decent and affordable housing to Manileños, particularly informal settler families (ISFs).
For Domagoso, who grew up among the ISFs in Tondo, this project is very personal. He has stated in past interviews that while the dream of owning their own home didn’t come true for his parents, he is honored to have been given the chance to make it a reality for the people of Manila. “Hindi man natupad ng nanay at tatay ko para sa akin at least — maraming salamat sa Diyos at maraming salamat sa mga Batang Maynila — na binigyan n’yo ako ng pagkakataon na maging alkalde ng lungsod,” Domagoso said.
The vice mayor also referred to Domagoso’s experience her welcome remarks. “Ito ay isang konkretong pagsasakatuparan ng isang simpleng pangarap ng isang Batang Tondo, isang Batang Maynila na noon ay namuhay na wala ring sariling bahay,” she said.
Each BaseCommunity unit has a total of 42 square meters that consists of two bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, study area, and a service area. Domagoso has explained that these units were designed to be on par with the offerings of the country’s major developers.
Addressing the BaseCommunity beneficiaries, the mayor said, “Ngayon matutupad n’yo na, mga nanay at tatay, ang pangarap ninyo para sa inyong mga anak. Mahirap mangupahan. Mahirap na walang kasiguruhan. Mahirap maging mahirap. Ngunit meron na kayong gobyerno sa Lungsod ng Maynila. Meron nang gobyernong ipaparamdam sa inyo ang tunay na pagmamahal sa mga mahihirap. Hindi sa dyaryo, hindi sa peryodiko, hindi sa litrato. Kundi tunay na pagmamalasakit.”
Domagoso then reminded the beneficiaries that were responsible for keeping BaseCommunity in good condition. “Alagaan ninyo ito. Hindi araw-araw Pasko. Huwag n’yong bababuyin. Hindi baleng mahirap tayo. Huwag tayong maging dugyot,” he said.
The mayor later mentioned that the LGU was already making plans for BaseCommunity Phase 2. “Lahat ‘yan, hangga’t nandito ako, hindi ako titigil, maayos ko lang ang buhay ninyo. Sunod-sunod ‘yan.”
Manila Urban Settlements Office (MUSO) chief Atty. Cris Fernandez, Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) chief Engr. Armand Andres, City Electrician Engr. Randy Sadac, City Arch. Ely Balmoris, and Barangay 649 chair Diana Espinosa were present at the event.
The BaseCommunity project is just one of several public housing projects in the city of Manila that broke ground in 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tondominium 1, Tondominium 2, and Binondominium projects are also set to be completed this year. Three more residential buildings — Pedro Gil Residences, San Lazaro Residences, and San Sebastian Residences — are also expected to break ground soon.
To recall, the BaseCommunity project was bidded out by the City of Manila on December 1, 2020. Camilo Construction and Trading was the “Lowest Calculated and Responsive Bidder.” They broke ground for BaseCommunity on December 21, 2020. The project was completed in June 2021.
In the awarding of units, priority was given to the victims of the fire which took place in BaseCommunity last February 4, 2020. The tagging and census were conducted by the DEPW together with the Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW), the MUSO, and the officials of Barangay 649 Zone 68. This resulted in a list of 594 structure owners, who were evaluated based on the Eligibility Criteria for Socialized Housing enumerated in Section 53 of the Housing Ordinance. After this process, 462 were found to be qualified.
A raffle was subsequently conducted by the City Housing Investment Committee (CHIC) to select the 229 beneficiaries of BaseCommunity. These identified beneficiaries then had to submit requirements, which were evaluated and assessed to ensure their eligibility. The BaseCommunity model unit was awarded to Nenita P. Suda.
(Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/AI/MTVN)