Urban Development on Sunday disclosed that there will be more housing projects for farmer-beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, following the signing of memoranda of understanding between the agency and the Department of Agrarian Reform, along with 19 local government units.
The agreement between Del Rosario and Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones for the BALAI agrarian reform beneficiaries/farmers housing program is meant to pave the way for the construction of decent and affordable housing communities for the farmers in various cities and municipalities across the country.
It also aims to uplift farmers’ morale and strengthen their emotional attachment to their farms, thus in turn will help empower the country’s overall agricultural industry.
Del Rosario stressed that their partnership with DAR is part of its mandate in capacitating the underprivileged, “in this case the farmers.”
He said the project is anchored on DHSUD’s BALAI concept or building adequate, livable, affordable and inclusive Filipino communities.
“When Secretary Castriciones first told me about this project, I immediately said ‘approved without thinking’ because I believe it is doable, supportable and achievable,” he cited.
“It is part of our responsibility to help informal settler families, especially the poorest of the poor, and capacitate them together with our key shelter agencies for them to be able to have a house of their own,” he said.
According to the housing czar, the project consists of three phases –availability or acquisition of land, land development and housing construction.
“This is a milestone. I hope we would be able to sustain this. I hope that in God’s grace, we will achieve our vision of uplifting the economic lives of our farmers. We must work hand in hand because in unity, there is strength,” Castriciones said.
“This is a convergent effort. We need the cooperation of LGUs and other government agencies,” he added. Rio Araja
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that between 2006 and 2015, fishermen and farmers were consistently tagged as the poorest sectors of the society with a 34% poverty incidence rate.