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PIA Press Release

Housing, social services still top priority

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (21 February) -- The government is doubling efforts toward ensuring social payback which aims to enable the poor to benefit more from growth, through projects that will help respond to the basic needs of the poor.

This was disclosed by Secretary Augusto B. Santos of the National Economic and Development Authority emphasizing that these priorities will be funded through the national budget as well as loan facilities if needed.

"To achieve the goal of responding to the needs of the poor, the national budget as well as other loanfacilities is being used to invest more on social services particularly those that significantly affect long-term human development such as health, nutrition, education, shelter, income and assets, and social protection," Santos said.

He said that there is no truth on the allegations that mass housing projects have taken a backseat to favor other projects like the NBN.

Meanwhile, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P300 Million for the housing and quartering projects of the Philippine National Police. PNP spokesman Sr. Supt. Nicanor Bartolome said that the amount is part of the P1.7 billion requested by the PNP from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to finance the ongoing construction of three housing projects for 67,400 police personnel who still do not have houses of their own.

The Malacanang press report disclosed that the PNP housing projects that are under construction are located in Bicutan, Taguig City in Metro Manila and San Miguel, Bulacan and Baras, Rizal. The project manager of the PNP Housing and Quartering Project will later present an updated report on these projects as well as the proposed utilization of the funds initially released for the purpose. (PIA) [top]

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