President Duterte to Give Free Housing to Victims of Typhoon Yolanda, Pablo, NHA Confirms

President Rodrigo Duterte promised this Wednesday, February 8 that free housing will be given to the victims of Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) in 2012 and Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, as long as he is the president. He made his announcement shortly after his main speech at the National Housing Authority (NHA) Summit in Quezon City.

“Your housing [unit], after a few years, you have to pay P200,000, even the [victims of typhoons] Pablo and Yolanda. As long as I am the President, that’s for free. No more [payment needed],” President Duterte said. His announcement was greeted by loud cheers and clapping from the crowd, who are beneficiaries of government housing projects.

“Libre na lang iyan kasi wala naman talagang magbayad. Pilipino? Pag dating ng kolektor sabihin mo, kubrahin mo doon kay Duterte kung nasaan siya ngayon. Libre na para walang ano.” He added. Duterte did not elaborate further, but NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr confirmed that the president’s promise will indeed come true.

“We already approved that in the recent board of the NHA. We recommended to the President that all Yolanda projects will be full grant so that would mean all beneficiaries in Yolanda of Samar, Leyte, Tacloban, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Panay, Antique are all free,” Escalada told reporters, adding that the free housing project will cost around P50 billion.

When asked as to where the funds will come from, Escalada said that it will be funded by the national government appropriations from 2014 to 2017, and was already approved by the board and the president last January 27. He noted that each house-and-lot package costs around P290,000, and complete with electrical, water supply and drainage system.

“The grant for the house is free, the grant for the land will be usufruct so that people wil not be able to sell it, dispose of it, or make it as a collateral for future financial requirements,” he added, noting that the government will only require the beneficiaries to pay for the land if they will sell, mortgage, or turn it into collateral. The awarding is expected to start by the end of 2017.