Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Brother John Castriciones admitted that it would be a challenge for them to deliver housing units to at least 600,000 farmer beneficiaries by the end of the Duterte administration but ensured that many will still benefit from it.
During a televised public briefing Saturday, July 31, Castriciones said they are aiming to deliver affordable housing units to about 20 percent of the three million agrarian reform beneficiaries in the country before President Duterte’s term ends next year.
The secretary, however, said that due to lack of time, they might not be able to complete the 20 percent goal but insisted that many farmers will still benefit from it.
“Marami yan kung makakuha tayo ng 20 percent of the 3 million, yun talaga ang target natin 10 to 20 percent. Pero of course because of the lack of material time dahil magtatapos na ang termino ng ating pangulo, baka hindi natin matapos yung 20 percent out of the 3 million agrarian beneficiaries (There will be a lot of beneficiaries if we are able to deliver to about 10 to 20 percent of the 3 million, which is actually our goal. But of course because of the lack of material time as the term of the President is coming to an end, we might not be able to achieve the 20 percent out of the 3 million agrarian beneficiaries),” the secretary explained.
“But considerably, marami po tayong matutulungan dito (we will be able to help a lot here),” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Castriciones bared that housing units intended for farmers in Umingan, Pangasinan are expected to be turned over by the end of September this year.
Umingan, Pangasinan is among the 159 municipalities which applied as beneficiaries under the BALAI Farmers’ Housing Project implemented by the department and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).
According to Castriciones, DHSUD has allocated a P2 billion fund for the site development plan.
The fund, he further said, was sourced from the compulsory contribution of real estate developers for socialized housing projects.
“Out of the 159 local government units, which applied in the program, we have approved 29 municipalities and we have already signed the memorandum of agreement,” Castriciones said.