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Housing project for 1,000 families to rise in Isabela town

More than 1,000 families from a town in Isabela province are poised to benefit from a housing project jointly implemented by the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and the municipal government of Jones.


The project, which will be funded through the former’s flagship initiative, the Community Mortgage Program (CMP), is a product of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by SHFC Executive Vice President Atty. Junefe Payot and Mayor Leticia Sebastian in a video conference held on July 9.
ISABELO MAYOR SEBASTIANUnder the deal, SHFC will finance the lot acquisition, site development, and house construction of the Jones Isabela CMP Homeowners Association Inc., which is composed of 1,166 families from Barangays Payac and San Isidro. Most of the beneficiaries are market vendors, health personnel, teachers, government employees, and overseas Filipino workers.
The virtual MOU signing, the third of its kind for SHFC, attested to its dedication to its mandate despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Asec. Leira Buan and SHFC North Luzon Regional Operation Vice President Jones Tomas witnessed the activity. The agency recently entered into similar agreements with Daet, Camarines Norte and with Taysan, Batangas.

view video

In his speech, Atty. Payot underscored the vital role of local government units in the provision of adequate housing, particularly during this time of virus crisis. “Ito ay isang pangmatagalang solusyon sa mga problemang dulot ng pandemic,” he stressed. “Kung sapat ang espasyo ng mga bahay, masisiguro ang social distancing at kung malinis ang lugar, maiiwasan ang pagkalat ng mga sakit.”
For her part, Mayor Sebastian said the project is a realization of her long-time dream of providing decent and affordable housing for her constituents. She expressed optimism on the potential of the program. “This will create jobs such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians, and will open business opportunities for small enterprises,” Sebastian said. “Magiging masisipag ang lahat ng taga Jones. Sasagana at mabubuhay tayong maligaya.”
SHFC has so far forged similar agreements with 89 local government units, including 14 new partners added this year. In the light of the pandemic, the agency continues with the provision of adequate housing, which has become even more crucial now given that viruses spread fast in congested informal settlements. To date, it has provided security of tenure to more than 350,000 families through over P16 billion in loan assistance under the CMP.
SHFC is the lead agency assisting underprivileged communities in securing land tenure through shelter financing and development solutions by Building Adequate, (pia)

Troops overrun Dawlah Islamiya lair in Lanao Sur

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government troops overran a hideout of the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired Dawlah Islamiya following a clash in the hinterlands of Lanao del Sur, officials said Tuesday. Lt. Col. Franco Rapahel Alano, commander of the Army’s 55th Infantry Battalion, said… Read More

mindanao terrorists


Quality and affordable

The Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) will be in the lead in developing, administering  and undertaking social housing programs that will cater to the housing needs of the poorest of the poor, in the proposed bill authored by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go that aims to address the housing plight of formal and informal sectors in the low-income bracket.

Go said Senate Bill No. 203, or the proposed National Housing Development, Production and Financing Act of 2019, is in  support of the Duterte administration’s aim to address the need for affordable, accessible and quality housing in the country.

bong go senate hearing doj

The bill mandates the crafting of a National Housing Development Production and Financing Program to be implemented by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and its attached key shelter agencies.
Go announced this after recently joining President Duterte in the groundbreaking of a relocation site for victims of a 2018 landslide in Naga City, Cebu.
Based on the Go measure, NHA will be the lead agency tasked to develop and implement various types of housing programs intended for the bottom 30 percent of the income population.
Some of these programs are resettlement, housing programs for low-salaried government employees, settlements upgrading, housing programs of calamity victims, and land banking.
As for the housing plight of formal and informal sectors in the low-income bracket, the draft legislation mandates the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) to develop, administer and undertake social housing programs that will cater to the housing needs of the poorest of the poor.
The proposed law also tasks the National Home Mortga ge Finance Corporation (NHMFC) to increase the availability of affordable housing loans to finance Filipino homebuyers, and for the DHSUD to manage housing, human settlements, and urban development.
To encourage private sector participation in the program, pertinent government agencies are mandated to facilitate the release of the required housing-related permits, licenses, certifications, and tax exemptions and rulings in accordance with the Ease of Doing Business Act.
“Dapat sa susunod na mga taon, wala nang squatter sa sariling bayan. This measure aims to address the 6.5-million housing gap over the period of 20 years,” Go said in past statements. (Hopefully, there will be no more Filipinos considered as a squatter in his own country.)
The government is expected to build 192 housing units in the Cebu area to be awarded to some of the families that were displaced when a landslide occurred in Sitios Sindulan III and Tagaytay of Barangay Tinaan on September 20, 2018.
Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) triggered the landslide, which affected more than 8,000 individuals and caused the death of more than 70 people.
“This event is a fulfillment of our promise to provide an affordable and sustainable resettlement site for the victims,” Duterte said in his speech.
The President also said that the beneficiaries will not be required to pay for the housing units.
“I order the National Housing Authority to give as a gift the housing units in the Naga permanent housing project,” he added.
“All of these, the house and the lot, will be given to you for free,” he stressed.
The victims of the landslide had to be relocated to a two-hectare portion of the Balili property in Barangay Tinaan because their original settlement had been declared unsafe by the authorities. The Cebu provincial government donated the property to the city of Naga. (Manila Bulletin)



If Duterte resigns

marcos duterte


Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. could likely be the next President of the Philippines.

That is if he wins his election case against Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte would resign.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Marcos becoming the President is the logical “conclusion” if Duterte resigns and Marcos wins his electoral protest against Robredo.

Marcos filed an electoral protest against Robredo with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) in connection with 2016 vice presidential contest.

Marcos claims Robredo won because there was cheating . Robredo won over Marcos by a slim margin of roughly 260,000 votes.

The President said on Tuesday, August 14, that he would resign if someone like Marcos or Senator Francis Escudero would succeed him.

Duterte said that he would not want Robredo to succeed him, describing the Vice President as “incompetent” to run the country..

“He thinks Senator Bongbong Marcos is one of the better qualified persons to succeed. If there are developments and he wins the protest and he becomes vice president, yes, he (Duterte) will make true his word,” Roque said at a press briefing on Thursday, August 16.

“If  (Marcos) wins the protest and he’s declared as vice president, (Duterte) is willing to step down,” said Roque.

Alvarez’s ‘zero budget’ vs. opposition not GMA’s style

House of Representatives Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said she will not do a Panta;eon Alvarez, her predecessor, who threatened to deny budget of congressmen who do not toe the line.

Arroyo said she will not give zero budget to lawmakers who are critical of the administration.

Known for his dictatorial style of getting support for administration bills, former Speaker Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, whom the former President and now Pampanga representative ousted in a July 23 coup, during his stint as Speaker threatened to slash or completely remove the budgets of several opposition congressmen.

Bibigyan lahat ng (All congressmen will be given a) budget as gesture of goodwill.Meron nga akong listahan (I have a list) and everyone was opposing me, pero ganun pa man (but nevertheless) as a gesture of goodwill, hindi sila bibigyan ng zero (they [opposition congressmen] won’t be given a zero [budget]),” Arroyo said in an ambush interview at the turnover of dredger and backhoe to the local government of Calumpit, Bulacan. 

“I won’t give zero budget even to those congressmen (who) don’t like me at all,” she added.

House majority leader Rolando Andaya Jr. assured that all congressional districts will receive allocations for next year regardless of the political alignment or stand of their representatives.

“Lahat ng distrito may pondo. Yan ang klarong utos ni Speaker GMA. (All districts will receive funding. That is the clear directive of Speaker GMA.) Appropriations proposed by the executive for projects and programs in a congressional district represented by a non-majority coalition member will not be drastically cut or reduced to zero,” Andaya told reporters in a separate interview.

He said constituents of opposition congressmen pay taxes so they are entitled “to enjoy the fruits of their payments,” stressing that no district has zero budget allocation at present.

Sabi nga, ‘Taxes are paid by the people in cash but are rebated to them in kind, in the form of services and projects, and the budget is the catalogue of these rebates.’ So taxation without appropriation is wrong,” Andaya said.

He said there is also a possibility of an augmentation if funds are found to be lacking.

Andaya also noted that House appropriations committee chairman Karlo Nograles would make sure that Arroyo’s directive will be followed as the lower chamber started its panel deliberations of the 2019 national budget.

“Bottomline is that the people should not be penalized for the stand taken by their representatives,” he said. (PNA)



House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has shot down a move earlier pushed by her predecessor, Davao del Norte Respresentative  Pantaleon Alvarez, for the House of Representatives to amend the 1987 Constitution without the participation of the Senate.

arroyo alvarez rappler
ARROYO ALVAREZ/Rappler photo

Arroyo, who unseated former Speaker Alvarez in a July 23 coup, on Wednesday, August 1, said she agrees with the Senate that both chambers of Congress should vote separately if it convenes into a constituent assembly (Con-Ass) to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

The Alvarez proposal was highly criticized by Senators.

puno reynato

Arroyo’s position was welcomed on the same day by Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who chairs the Consultative Committee (ConCom) created by President Rodrigo Duterte to draft a Federal Constitution.

According to a report in state-owned news agency PNA, Arroyo agreed on voting separately, noting that she wanted to be able to “move forward” and “be realistic” to finally agree on the manner of voting for Charter Change (Cha-Cha).

Arroyo agrees with Senate on separate Con-ass voting

“Better to move forward and achieve something rather than be stubborn and achieve nothing. We should move forward and the way to move forward is to agree to voting separately,” Arroyo said.

The Senate has collectively agreed on separate voting, saying a joint vote will be inconsistent with the bicameral nature of the Congress.

Before he was deposed, Alvarez, said the House would proceed with amending the 1987 Constitution even without the Senate’s participation, which irked lawmakers from the Upper House.

Puno, in the PNA report,  described Arroyo’s decision to vote separately as “a major roadblock that has been removed.”

“That’s good. That is also my personal opinion when I appeared before the Committee of Senator (Francis) Kiko Pangilinan,” said Puno.

“That’s a major roadblock if that has been removed, so much the better. If it’s not separate voting, the Senate might not agree,” Puno said.

Last July 17, Puno told the Senate that a provision in the draft charter allows the House and Senate to vote separately on charter change.

However, Puno said he also respected the school of thought that the two chambers may vote jointly.

“There are some saying Con-con (constitutional convention) is better, there are some who want a hybrid Con-con but now they are using Con-ass,” Puno explained.

Up to Congress

During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 23, President Duterte was expected to formally endorse the draft Federal Constitution drafted by Concom to the Congress. However, he did not.

Puno said for him, Duterte’s mention of the new Constitution allowing a shift to a federal system of government in his SONA was already an endorsement in itself.

“For me, what he said about the draft Federal Constitution is enough. What kind of endorsement are we looking for when the next day, he formed an inter-agency group to conduct a massive information drive (on Federalism),” Puno said.

The inter-agency group, which will be led by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, will be in charge of explaining the benefits of Federalism to the country in a massive information drive.

“For me, that’s enough endorsement,” he added.

pimentelConCom member and former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. earlier said he was not disappointed since Duterte still had the opportunity to endorse it sometime else.

“Nothing prevents the Pres(ident) from vetting Congressional Action on the matter anytime he wants to do so,” he said.

Pimentel was confident that Duterte would eventually endorse the draft charter since a shift to a federal system of government is among his main thrusts after all.

“The issue is very much alive in the hearts and minds of the believers in the cause. And we know that the Pres(ident) is one of them,” Pimentel said. 


Mayor Sara slams Trillanes over 2022 presidential bid claim


Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio slammed Senator Antonio Trillanes over the latter’s statement that President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing her to run for president in 2022 so he could remain in power.

Mayor Sara posted a rebuttal against Trillanes’ claim on Facebook and Instagram, telling the senator to leave her alone.

“LEAVE ME ALONE, Senator Trillanes. The last time a person irked me, I made sure to make it difficult for him to bring me down,” she said, citing former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, who was her opponent for the city’s mayoralty race in the 2010 elections. In that election, Duterte-Carpio won by over 200,000.

NOGRALES“Speaker Boy Nograles lost that election and was a billion pesos poorer,” she said.

“Like Speaker (Pantaleon) Alvarez, my advice to you is not think of me, speak of my name, not even a whisper of Inday Sara from your ugly lips,” she said in the same post.

Duterte-Carpio lambasted Trillanes who claimed that President Duterte has three options to stay in power: declare martial law and establish a revolutionary government, initiate a Charter change, or push the candidacy of his daughter, first in 2019 for the senatorial race, and for president in 2022 when Duterte’s term ends.

Trillanes made the speculations during the general assembly of Tindig Pilipinas, an opposition group formed last year to oppose some of President Duterte’s policies, including the administration’s push to amend the 1986 Constitution.

Trillanes was quoted in the report as saying: “Yung option C niya ay itutulak niya si Sara Duterte bilang pangulo sa 2022. Pero ang unang yugto niyan itutulak niya muna bilang senador sa 2019. Papayag ba tayo na Duterte forever (The President’s Option C is to push Sara Duterte for president in 2022. But first, he will push her for senator in 2019. Are we going to allow a Duterte forever)?”

Duterte-Carpio found these claims absurd.

“Leave me in peace in Davao City or else you and your friends will spend more than a billion in the 2022 Presidential elections just to make me insignificant. Let me repeat, do not bother me and my slot will be available for a yellow Senator for the 2019 elections,” Mayor Sara said in the same social media post.

If her father imagines Trillanes will be shot, Duterte-Carpio said she wanted him alive and in pain.

“I have been described as heartless by my mother, please do not anger me so that you may remain relevant for the future generation. And you should listen to my mother,” she added.

Trillanes has been lobbing allegations against President Duterte and some members of the First Family, ranging from unexplained wealth to other supposed irregularities.

Mayor Sara has been quoted joking in the past about eyeing a congressional seat, raising speculations that she plans to seek a higher post. However, the mayor made it clear that such statements were only aimed at teasing opponents. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)