‘Homeowners’ groups backed by ex-mayor:

Hundreds being recruited for gov’t-funded housing projects

TWO YEARS AFTER IT WAS STARTED, construction of the P499-million Our Lady’s Village Resettlement Project in Virac continues, with most of its 938 units of row houses nearing completion as shown in this panoramic shot. Funding for the project was requested from the National Housing Authority (NHA) by Mayor Samuel Laynes during his first term of office. Under an agreement, it will the LGU which will set guidelines for the selection of beneficiaries of the housing project.

Hundreds of Catandunganons are joining ‘homeowners’ associations being organized in the 11 towns to be guaranteed a slot in government-funded housing projects, starting with a Virac “subdivision” of 3,000 quadruplex-type units.

Former Pandan Mayor Honesto ‘Olog” Tabligan II is reportedly backing the creation of the associations and was present during a recent meeting of officers and members in the capital town.

According to a Tribune source, the meeting of the homeowners association was held last Sept. 5, 2022 in barangay Palta Big, with the group electing the following officers: Gina Subion Tomagan, president; Abel Suarez, vice president; Chanda Suaviso, secretary; Nenita Vicente, treasurer; Andre Sorra, auditor; and, Lyka Surban and Antonio Gianan Jr., board members.

Ex-mayor Tabligan allegedly announced that the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) will construction 3,000 units of quadruplex type, two-storey houses in Palta Small, with each unit consisting of two rooms with garage and a total floor area of 48 square meters.

Each of the housing unit will cost P680,000.00, it was claimed, with the payment of monthly amortizations to start upon turnover of the unit after advancing a down payment of an amount equivalent to three monthly amortizations.

The subdivision to be built is reportedly along the national highway and is on the right side of the road as one turns right towards San Andres from Palta Small.

“There will be a swimming pool and a plaza in the subdivision,” Tabligan claimed, with the second phase of the project to be built in barangay Calabnigan.

He also requested that the name of the subdivision be “PAGMAKOLOG SUBDIVISION” with the last four letters reportedly to indicate his lasting legacy for the people of Catanduanes. Two other names were suggested by an officer of the association.

According to reports, a “mobilizer” is expected to arrive by Sept. 25 to interview the members, who were told to state their monthly income as their capacity to pay would determine the monthly amortization.

Catandunganons who are working in Metro Manila, government workers who do not have an outstanding loan with the National Housing Authority (NHA) or SHFC, as well as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) can also avail of the housing units, it was claimed.

The former Pandan mayor told the ‘homeowners’ that if the required documents are completed within a month, construction could start this November.

A general assembly of the members of the homeowners association would be called and they would go to the Sangguniang Bayan of Virac and the Sangguniang Bayan for the conversion of the property, which is declared as an agricultural land.

Construction of the housing projects would benefit local contractors and jobless Catandunganons, it is said. Individuals behind the plan have claimed they have already talked to Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes on the matter.

Queried about the matter, Mayor Laynes confirmed that ex-mayor Tabligan indeed went to his office a few weeks ago but the latter only discussed the possibility of restarting the rehabilitation and development of the Sto. Domingo resettlement project that was terminated by NHA last year.

Asked to confirm if he was the one organizing the homeowners associations, Tabligan said that everything begins with the associations.

“Nag-uumpisa po ang org based on homeowners,” he stressed in a text message. “Ang homeowners po ang pupunta para papa-accredit sa SHFC.”

“We have signified po sa housing programs ng SHFC,” the ex-mayor said in reply when asked if the organization of the associations have the blessing of SHFC or NHA.

“Nasa basic steps pa lang po tayo, organizing for SHFC and accreditations,” he added.

He did not answer the Tribune’s query as to what SHFC housing program the associations would be accommodated.

The source informed the Tribune that each homeowners association being put up in the 11 towns have set up chat groups on social media, with interested would-be members told to contact the following coordinators: Bella Razal (Bagamanoc), Neonita Evangelista (Panganiban), Wilbert Tumala (Viga), Johnrey Sto, Tomas (San Miguel), Edna Tomagan (Baras), Jackie Abella (Bato), Remedios Saldua (Caramoran), Remie Jane Manlangit (Pandan), Andre Sorra (Virac) and Remer Paul Rico (Gigmoto).

As of presstime, more than a thousand members have already joined the ‘homeowners’ associations in the different municipalities.

The Tribune has sent a query thru email to the SHFC regarding its proposed housing projects in Catanduanes.

The SHFC was created through Executive Order No. 272, which directed the transfer of the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), Abot Kaya Pabahay Fund (AKPF) Program, and other social housing powers and functions of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation to the SHFC.

Under E.O. 272, the SHFC shall be the lead government agency to undertake social housing programs that will cater to the formal and informal sectors in the low-income bracket and shall take charge of developing and administering social housing program schemes, particularly the CMP and the AKPF Program.

It aimed to provide by 2022 about 530,000 organized homeless and low-income families with Flexible, Affordable, Innovative, and Responsive (FAIR) shelter solutions to their housing needs.

While the Abot Kaya Pabahay Fund – Development Loan Program is targeted at key urban areas, the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) is a people-led housing finance and community development program which assists legally organized associations of low-income groups to acquire and develop a tract of land under the concept of community ownership.

The primary objective of the program is to assist residents of blighted or depressed areas to own the lots they occupy, or where they choose to relocate to, and eventually create sustainable and resilient communities in coordination with the local government units, the SHFC stated.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.