Pag-IBIG’s Response to the Deep Socialized Housing Shortage: GLAD Program and Countryside Housing Initiatives

At the 2nd Socialized Housing Summit held at the Ateneo de Manila University, Pag-IBIG’s Chief Executive Officer, Marilene Acosta, highlighted the drastic drop in socialized housing production for 2023 and outlined the institution’s strategic initiatives to address this pressing concern.

Acosta reported a distressing figure, revealing that in 2023, the production of socialized housing units plummeted to a critical low, with only 11,257 units built out of the half a million needed. This gap exacerbates the cumulative housing deficit of approximately 7 million units, underlining a national crisis that demands urgent and innovative solutions. The chief executive reflected on the stark reality of informal settlements scattered across the nation’s cities, often situated in hazardous locations, and pondered on the failure to provide adequate housing solutions to the urban populace.

As a response to this shortfall and the clamor for horizontal development, especially in rural areas, Pag-IBIG is championing the GLAD (Group Land Acquisition and Development) program. Acosta reminisced about her tenure as manager of Pag-IBIG’s Baguio Regional Office, where she spearheaded several GLAD projects, facilitating groups like public school teachers to acquire and develop land for their housing needs. This program represents a beacon of hope for rural communities where title properties are scarce and high-priced.

In contrast to the 4PH program’s inclination towards vertical development, Pag-IBIG’s countryside housing program offers an alternative that resonates with Filipinos’ preference for ground-level dwellings. The program engages in public-private partnerships to stimulate housing development across various regions, aligning with the traditional Filipino aspiration for homes nestled in community-centric environments.

Despite the challenges, Pag-IBIG’s commitment to increase the inventory of socialized housing is unwavering. In 2024, Pag-IBIG pledged an allocation of ₱250 billion to fund the 4PH program, catalyzing the development and construction of housing units. Acosta proudly showcased the successful completion of pilot projects in Bacolod and Palayan City, setting the stage for forthcoming projects that are anticipated to provide around 18,000 families with new homes.

Furthermore, Acosta shed light on Pag-IBIG’s Community Housing Initiative program, inviting cooperation from various social enterprises, civil societies, microfinance institutions, and cooperatives to facilitate homeownership. This initiative is designed as a public-private partnership aimed at extending Pag-IBIG’s housing loan program to the underserved, thus embracing a more inclusive approach to housing development.

Emphasizing the importance of affordable housing finance, Acosta also discussed Pag-IBIG’s Acquired Asset Disposal Program, offering up to a 40% discount on bulk purchases to organizations helping their members acquire homes. This program is not only about providing a roof but also about instilling pride and a sense of community among the beneficiaries.

Acosta’s presentation concluded with an invitation to further strengthen collaborations to develop more inclusive housing programs, ensuring that every Filipino can access affordable and dignified shelter. She affirmed Pag-IBIG’s readiness and willingness to support the dream of homeownership, urging the summit’s attendees to consider Pag-IBIG as a partner in building sustainable communities for future generations.

The summit, orchestrated by ACSent and SEDPI on March 18-19, 2024, underscored the pivotal role of strategic partnerships and innovative financing solutions in bridging the significant housing gap, highlighting Pag-IBIG’s crucial role in this nationwide effort.

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