PAG-IBIG readies building green socialized housing

October 9, 2012 10:02 pm 

By Catherine Teves

MANILA, Oct. 9 — Government housing finance arm Home Development Mutual Fund, the agency more popularly known as PAG-IBIG Fund, is preparing to venture into construction of green socialized housing units for low-income Filipinos.

PAG-IBIG Appraisal Department Manager Sigfred Briones said the agency's already working out details of the undertaking so corresponding guidelines can be established in time for the construction's target start in 2013.

"Our agency will use its own funds to finance construction of the houses," he said Tuesday on the side of government's housing fair in Metro Manila.

Such houses will feature green designs students from nine schools submitted earlier as entries to PAG-IBIG's design competition, he noted.

He said the entries comply with Batas Pambansa 220 which spells out design criteria for socialized housing.

The entries also feature disaster-resilient house design ideas.

"We want to improve quality, quantity, reliability and distribution of socialized housing," Briones said.

Government earlier instituted its socialized housing program to help low-income Filipinos acquire decent yet affordable houses.

Briones is optimistic construction of the green houses will help enhance market attractiveness of foreclosed properties PAG-IBIG aims disposing.

"We intend to build on vacant lots we acquired," he said.

He also said dilapidated houses on acquired properties can be demolished so new green houses can be built there.

PAG-IBIG's planned construction venture likewise seeks to help promote socio-economic development nationwide, Briones continued.

"For the actual construction work, it's possible to tap people in areas where the houses will be built so they can have livelihood," he said.

He noted another possibility is for PAG-IBIG's loan applicants to undertake the construction themselves as their sweat equity.

Since PAG-IBIG required its design contestants to use accredited indigenous technologies, Briones noted these will be in demand once the agency pushes through with the green houses' construction.

"The planned venture can truly open up a lot of economicopportunities for our people," he said.

PAG-IBIG isn't discounting the possibility of eventually signing with local government units, housing groups and other stakeholders joint venture agreements on construction of more green houses.

"We're open to partnerships in the future," Briones said.

PAG-IBIG's promotion of more green and disaster-resilientsocialized housing is in line with government's bid for developing environment-friendly habitats and for helping people better adapt to climate change.

Sea level rise and onslaught of increasingly violent weather disturbances are climate change's main impacts on the country, experts previously warned.

Earlier, PAG-IBIG identified in Butuan City a possible site for its maiden housing venture.

"The site's a subdivision with about 200 lots – we're looking into that," Briones said.

He said PAG-IBIG is still scouting for other contiguous land around the country where this agency can undertake more of the high-impact construction it's planning.

2012 University of Sto. Tomas architecture graduates Patrick Henry Castañeda and John Michael Puache emerged as top winners in PAG-IBIG's design contest.

Their winning entry features a house of lightweight construction so this can float during flooding.

The house's living-dining-sleeping area sits atop 64 pieces of recycled 55-gallon barrels fastened together.

Such barrels collectively act as mechanism that enables the house to float or 'rise' when flood waters seep into the pit where these containers are located.

"We designed the house that way so it can rise as flood waters rise, sparing the interior from damage," Castañeda said on the housing fair's side.

L-shaped columns at the house's corners guide vertical movement of this structure during flooding, he also said.

He noted the adjacent kitchen-toilet area sits atop ground, however.

Castañeda and Puache named their floating house the 'Systematized Adaptive Floating Edifice.'

They estimated labor, materials and indirect cost for the house's construction at about PhP195,000.

The house also features green elements like sun baffles as well as awning and jalousie windows which the designers deem appropriate for the tropics.

In May 2012, PAG-IBIG gave due recognition to and awarded the design competition's top winners and other students who submitted their entries.

PAG-IBIG owns the 19 designs featured in their entries and may choose any or a combination of these to use in its construction projects, Briones said. (PNA)

HBC/CJT/UTB

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