Affordable housing units for farmers to be built all over PH

Published July 28, 2021, 6:33 PM

by Betheena Unite

Decent and affordable housing units for farmer-beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) will be constructed in 19 sites all over the country.

SOON TO RISE–The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) led the groundbreaking ceremony for a housing project for farmers in Barangay Villapaz, Naguilian, Isabela on July 1, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the DAR)

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), and 19 local government units (LGUs) recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to roll out the planned BALAI Farmers and Farmworkers’ Housing Program.

The farmers’ houses will be constructed in Llanera, Nueva Ecija; Narvacan, Ilocos Sur; Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte; Umingan, Pangasinan; Alaminos City, Pangasinan; Bani, Pangasinan; Bauang, La Union; Ilagan, Isabela; Quezon, Isabela; Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; Punukulan, Quezon; Mauban, Quezon; Libmanan, Camarines Sur; Canaman, Camarines Sur; Guinobatan, Albay; Mina, Iloilo; Matanao, Davao, and Caoayan, Ilocos Sur.

“Most of our farmers and farmworkers are poor and does not own the house they live in. And even if they own it, most of their houses are dilapidated and need repair. Why? Because the farmers would rather use their money for farming and family expenses than use it for house repairs,” Agrarian Secretary Brother John Castriciones said.

DAR Undersecretary for Support and Services Emily Padilla said the program will be implemented in two schemes: on-site and off-site housing.

The on-site housing scheme will cover home improvement works on existing houses of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs); construction, or purchase of a new house for ARBs; and refinancing of an existing housing loan secured by the ARB.

“The farmers’ housing loans will be secured by emancipation patent, certificate of land ownership award (CLOA), and other titles issued to them. Housing loans for house construction or improvement in lands covered by CLOA will be treated as additional loans by the Land Bank of the Philippines and other lending institutions,” Padila said.

The off-site housing scheme, on the other hand, entails subdivision projects located in the capital or in major urban centers of the province.

“Such projects may be chosen by farmers to provide housing for their families, children, or relatives so they can be near to schools, medical facilities, and market centers for their agri-products,” Padilla explained.

“Subdivision plans, and designs will be in such a way that production facilities such as rice and sugar mills, dryers, and warehouses are integrated with places designated for open space such as basketball courts and multi-purpose centers,” she added.

The housing units are the duplex type, with two bedrooms each, covering 37 square meters.

The official furthe said that the provision of housing is demand-driven, and that the payment will be based on the farmers’ capacity to pay.

The housing loan will have a maximum term of 30 years, while the amortization payment scheme will be based on the cropping or harvest schedule of farmers.