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PIA Press Release

New loan from China to build 1M houses

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (6 October) -- Negotiation for a joint project with the China government is in the final stage for building one million units to benefit informal sector throughout the country.

Representative Eduardo C. Zialciita of first district Paranaque City in a press conference on Tuesday at the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCO) said the negotiation is now at the final stage and signing of the agreement may take place during the visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of China to the Philippines this December.

Zialcita, chair of the House of Representative Committee on Housing and Urban Development together with Vice Chair Representative Arthur Y. Pingoy, Jr. and Davao Oriental 2nd district Representative Corazon Malanyaon conducted a public hearing on October 4, 2006 in Davao City on House Bill Nos. 3508, 4521, 4803, and 4903.

A pet project of House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Zialcita said it would be a ten-year soft loan with total investment of P200 billion.

"But there are still other areas that are being negotiated including the moratorium of payments," he said.

He said the project could initially address the 4 million housing backlog and the rate is increasing.

The country's average growth per year on housing requirement is at two to three percent and the government annually could only produce about 100,000 units.

Zialcita said that it is being studied carefully especially on the loan repayments as it might add up to the figure of the country's foreign debt.

"It is in the take out that we may have difficulties because it would take a period of time," he said.

He said the agreement is now being studied by the National Economic and Development Authority and Zialcita is optimistic that the venture will be forged by December 2006.

Zialcita also said that the distribution of the units will be done proportionately to the housing needs of the area.

He said beneficiaries will be the informal sector where most of them are living in railways, creeks and other related areas.

"We are looking at the Abot Kaya Pabahay scheme so it would be affordable to the beneficiaries," he said.

"For a term of 35 years the monthly amortization could be less than a thousand pesos," he added. (PIA XI) [top]

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