GROUNDBREAKING. Local officials of Iloilo City lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the PHP217 million low–rise housing project in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro on Thursday (Nov. 4, 2021). The 120-unit project that will stand in the 2, 741 square meter area inside the Uswag Subdivision will be for qualified employees of the Iloilo City Hall. (Photo courtesy of Arnold Almacen/City Mayor’s Office)

ILOILO CITY – A PHP217 million low-rise housing project for city hall employees will soon stand at the local government-owned lot in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro in this city.

The partnership project between the city government of Iloilo and SM Development Corporation (SMDC) will stand in the 2, 741 square meter area inside the Uswag Subdivision.

“After these units are already there, 120 families will be given houses that they will be able to have as their own,” said Mayor Jerry P. Treñas in his message during the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday.

He said the city government has always prioritized housing.

The 16.2-hectare area, part of which will host the project, is dedicated to informal settlers with over 3,000 households.

“We have already purchased almost 5.5 hectares of new land where SMDC can build low-rise buildings again,” he added.

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Settlement (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo D. Del Rosario, in his message, said the city’s vertical housing project should be the way for all urban cities in the country because of the growing limitation of available lots for residential housing.

“We are very glad with Iloilo City for leading the way and moving forward because this is the future and we cannot do otherwise,” he said.

He expressed the commitment of their department to support projects using escrow, especially for socialized housing.

The department will be financing the establishment of another low-rise residential building that will be launched in the next few days in the city.

The groundbreaking was also graced by Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Julienne Baronda and SMDC president Jose Mari Banzon.

Meantime, the city government will be coming up with an executive order that will institutionalize the selection criteria for qualified employees.

The units will be open to employees who are head of the family and has no real property in any part of the country, have not availed of any socialized housing program of the government, and a bonafide resident of the city for five years.

Further, must not be a professional squatter or a member of a professional squatting syndicate. (PNA)