By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 08:58 PM July 10, 2021
A home at last.
Members of the country’s uniformed service basked in simple pride as they stood brandishing their housing certificates of awards July 9 here as they finally received proofs of ownership to their own units of row houses in the National Housing Authority’s (NHA) Saint Michael Village.
This too as the government realizes what President Rodrigo Duterte promised: better lives to the country’s heroes in the service.
No less than Senator Christopher Lawrence “Kuya Bong” Go, National Housing Authority General (NHA) general manager Marcelino Escalada Jr., Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino and local officials handed out the certificates of award to personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for a unit they can now call their own and make homes out of these houses.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Berondo, Army Major Aaron Alorro, Fire Officer 1 Pearl Marie Pogoy, Jail Officer 1 Glicerio Salamaña and Police Captain Rufo Potane each received their Certificates of Awards from NHA GM Escalada, Senator Go, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Dino, Gov. Arthur Yap and host Dauis Mayor Merriam Sumaylo.
In a briefer to the event, NHA GM Escalada said these row houses were completed in 2016 and became a part of the 35,000 units of the old AFP/PNP Housing nationwide inventory which remained unawarded, as he came to the helm of the NHA.
Upon new orders of the President, he said the government has authorized the NHA to re-award these units as soon as possible.
The row houses remain unoccupied because they are small, located far from the civilization and ugly, he said.
The residential lots, each measuring 22 square meters have front setback of 2.5 meters and back setback of 2 meters and are already with tiled toilets and pail flush type water closets, jalousie windows, kitchen sink and water closet, and can be added a loft that can be enough for a masters bedroom and another spare room.
But for the beneficiaries, the units are a good start, especially for those starting to raise a family.
In fact according to GM Escalada, for beneficiaries whose adjoining units remained unawarded, they can apply to the NHA to get the other unit.
The units are available on an easy and affordable P200 a month for the first 5 years and succeeding P1,000 for the next 20 years.
This is still easy and affordable and beneficiaries can even complete the payment in just a few years, Escalada said.
Another reason why there were no takers of the housing units is that Saint Michael Village, a community of 350 completed row houses and 150 more for its phase 2, has still to tap electricity and water from the local power utilities provider, NHA said with the help of Senator Go, power supply would now be provided by Bohol Electric Cooperative while its water supply would be provided by Richli Corporation.
The 3.6 hectare property already has provisions for water and electricity and only needs these to be tapped to the utilities source, for the units to be livable.
That day, NHA awarded the 100 units of the 350 units available to beneficiaries.
Built as a community about a kilometer from the Songculan Church, Saint Michael Village has ten meters of concrete paved roads and alleys, reinforced concrete pipes for its drainage system and concrete power posts for the power needs of the community.
Under the Duterte Administration however, a newer design with a lot bigger floor space than the present 22 square meters loftable units, come with privacy partitions for its two bedrooms, and can come in a condominium design, according to Escalada. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol).