SOCIALIZED HOUSING. Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario (leftmost) looks at the scale model of the PHP115-million socialized condominium housing that Cebu Landmasters Inc. is donating to the city government of Cebu. On Friday (June 18, 2021), officials broke ground to kick off the project, namely CLI CEO Jose Soberano III (third from right), COO Franco Soberano (second from right), and City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia (rightmost). (PNA photo by Carlo Lorenciana)

CEBU CITY – Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) on Friday signed a memorandum of agreement with the city government of Cebu for its donation of a PHP115-million well-planned, in-city socialized condo housing for informal settlers. 

“CLI’s goal to help fill the VisMin housing gap includes well-planned projects for the marginalized. At the same time, this project allows us to assist and give back to the City of Cebu where we have deep roots,” CLI chairman and chief executive officer Jose Soberano III said during the groundbreaking ceremony of the project in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel, this city, also on Friday. 

CLI chief operating officer Franco Soberano assured the project will be completed in less than a year. 

The five-storey Medium-Rise Building (MRB) Tenement Housing project will offer 100 condo units on a 1,350 square meter property accessible to employment opportunities in the city. 

The project has been planned in collaboration with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD). 

Jose expressed hopes that the Lorega housing project will become a model for other developers to follow suit, saying that property developers should have a “shared goal” to provide affordable housing to the marginalized sector.

DHSUD Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, who was present during the event, said one of the directions of the agency is to partner with local government units (LGUs) to “undertake similar projects” in other parts of the country. 

While he hoped that more socialized housing projects will be built in this city, the Cabinet official also urged developers to see the Cebu project as a model for socialized shelter.

“Under this project, we can customize the desires of the LGU. The ownership of land should be on the LGU as their equity,” the official said.

Under the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, the national government is pushing for developing alternative and innovative solutions to bridge the housing gap pegged at 6.57 million by 2022. 

Among the proposed innovations is public rental housing for the benefit of the homeless and the underprivileged. The Cebu socialized housing is an example. 

The Balai Rental Housing Program (BRHP) is envisioned to address homelessness, free informal settler families from danger zones and dense settlements, and clear waterways and railways of obstructions, thus minimizing flooding. It’s also seen to help keep less fortunate Filipinos safe and allow them to live in a more humane and decent environment while promoting in-city relocation.

Del Rosario said the BRHP also supports the “Balanced Housing Program of the national government.”

Moreover, once the MRB housing project is completed, it will be turned over to the city government that will be the one to manage the project.

The MOA signing for the project was represented by Cebu City acting mayor Michael Rama, DHSUD’s Del Rosario and CLI’s top executives.

The five-storey housing project is said to be the first and tallest socialized housing project to be owned by the government in the Visayas and Mindanao. It is within walking and biking distance to Cebu City’s business districts.

The units will serve as transition housing for informal settlers along rivers, creeks, the sea and other danger zones. (PNA)