CEBU CITY – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday led other government officials in the groundbreaking ceremony of a medium-rise condominium-type housing for the soldiers, policemen, and government workers.
The project called Southpark Residences situated in a 2.1-hectare site in Barangay Pulangbato, 15-kilometers from the city center, will have a total of 850 two-bedroom residential units, with each unit measuring 42-square meters, including a 2.5-square meter balcony.
In his speech, Go said the project is the 27th housing project being undertaken by the government in fulfillment of President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to give the members of the uniformed service in the country affordable housing.
“The police and the military are our priority. Like what the administration did in 2018 when we raised their salary almost double. They are the partners in this administration in the war against drugs and criminality,” Go said in Cebuano.
He also cited the crucial role of the personnel of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Apart from being affordable where each beneficiary can pay as low as PHP9,000 per month, Go said the government will also provide them with PHP100,000 affront subsidy so that they can still have funds to purchase furniture, kitchen utensils, among other things they would need moving into their new homes.
“We still have three more housing projects for groundbreaking before the end of the term of President Duterte. I hope that the next administration will continue this project that will benefit our people,” Go said during a press conference.
The 13-story residential condominium will stand amid landscaped gardens, tree-lined roads, commercial facilities, and community amenities.
National Housing Authority general manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. told reporters that the project, costing PHP1.6-billion, is expected to be finished in 2023.
“What happened in Pandi, Bulacan was the trigger why we have this project which is now better, bigger, and more comfortable housing for the police and the soldiers,” Escalada said in his speech.
He was referring to the AFP-PNP Housing Project in Bulacan that became the subject of criticism because of the smaller floor area measuring only 24-square meters, with the supposed beneficiaries describing it as “bahay ng kalapati” (dove house).
Escalada said the government has improved the floor areas in horizontal projects like single-detached housing to 60-square meters with two bedrooms, while those units in condominium type housing units have 42 to 45-square meters.
The country now has a total of 27,000 housing units for the police, soldiers, firemen, coast guards, and government employees.
In the Pulangbato project, Escalada said each beneficiary can get a unit for PHP1.9 million which is payable for 30 years.
In the afternoon, Go and Escalada flew to Bohol to inaugurate the same housing project in the municipality of Dauis.
Central Command (Centcom) commander Lt. General Roberto Ancan and Police Regional Office-7 chief Brig. General Ronnie Montejo, who both attended the groundbreaking ceremony, thanked Duterte for providing their men and women in uniform with decent housing.
“Nakita namon na (We see it that) these are very affordable for our soldiers, airmen, sailors, policemen with which they can have their own house. not only itong mga (these) condo, there are single detached units available. It’s up to them to choose which type they want,” Ancan told reporters in an interview.
He encouraged the soldiers to apply for housing loan so that they can avail of the housing project in Pulangbato this city.
Montejo said the police force in the region is very thankful to the President for providing them with the affordable housing project, stressing that this endeavor will uplift the lives of the cops especially those still renting houses in the slum areas. (PNA)