By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — No membership or registration fees should be collected from individuals hoping to benefit from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’s Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program.
Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar stressed this during a recent interview amid reports of unscrupulous individuals using the national housing program to collect payments from the unsuspecting public.
“Marami hong kumakalat na akala po binabayaran ang membership para makapagpalista sa ‘Pambansang Pabahay.’ Hindi po kami humihingi na anumang bayad at mismong local government unit (LGU) po ang nakikipag-usap tungkol d’yan,” Secretary Acuzar said.
“Kaya dapat sa local government po dumiretso [ang mga interesado] dahil sa LGUs rin naman po namin ipapasa ang matatapos naming projects,” he added.
Secretary Acuzar likewise emphasized that interested beneficiaries do not need to be members of housing associations or groups in order to be part of PBBM’s housing program, suggesting that they instead become members of the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund which has various financial schemes that can assist them in availing ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ units.
“I would also like to emphasize that we are not soliciting any donations from the private sector or government officials for the program. For such information, please directly report this to any of our offices nationwide,” Secretary Acuzar warned.
Aside from the DHSUD, the public can also inquire about details of the program from the National Housing Authority, Social Housing Finance Corporation, and National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, all of which are the Department’s key shelter agencies and are also working with the government in advancing the national housing program.
Meanwhile, the DHSUD secretary bared that the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program was devised by the President primarily for the less privileged working force, especially those employed in urban areas but do not have their own houses.
This is highlighted by the program’s thrust to build in-city resettlements where workplaces and trade hubs, as well as educational and health institutions, are located.
Additionally, the program promotes township development to ensure sustainability and economic activities within the housing sites. (ai/mtvn)