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MANILA, December 3, 2004
(STAR) By Pia Lee-Brago - The government has granted some P505 million in housing loans for the urban poor during the first three quarters of the year, Vice President Noli de Castro said yesterday.

De Castro, concurrent chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), said the loan proceeds and certificates of loan entitlements under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) have been distributed to informal settler families.

"The biggest gains we have achieved for the homeless urban poor through financing under CMP is to liberate them from the bondage of homelessness and despair," De Castro said.

Through the policy and program initiatives of President Arroyo in 2001, the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. (NHMFC) was able to grant record amounts of CMP loans averaging P488 million annually from 2001 to the present, the highest since the program was first launched in 1988, he added.

Reports submitted by NHMFC president Celso de los Angeles Jr. showed that the loan performance alone for the first three quarters of the year has breached the half-billion peso benchmark.

"Based on the current monthly loan levels, it is expected that this year’s total CMP release could reach P673 million, way past last year’s P615 million and the highest amount achieved in 16 years of implementing CMP," De Castro added.

Since 1998, CMP’s annual loan release average P306.6 million. For seven years, its cumulative loan totaled P4.9 billion, which was lent to some 152,592 beneficiaries in 1,216 project sites nationwide.

According the HUDCC’s website, the government’s housing efforts for the next three years will focus on the bottom 40 percent of households.

This means "providing households with affordable socialized housing either through efficient production of housing units for ownership or rental or through sustainable housing finance."


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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