Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) will take over the housing loan program for more than 1.7 million Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) members.

“Pag-IBIG has reached an agreement with GSIS on a credit facility that allows the fund to administer GSIS’ P5 billion for housing,” Binay said in a speech during the 5th Philippine Housing Finance Forum in Makati.

He added that the National Housing Authority (NHA) is now processing eight (8) projects to be funded this year, and 32 more in 2012, intended to benefit more than 21,000 families.

“Housing agencies are also reviewing their policies in end-buyer financing, developmental financing, the guaranty system and the secondary mortgage market in order to make more funds available for housing,” he added.

The Vice President also announced that the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) is now implementing a national resettlement policy framework aimed at establishing common procedures and guidelines for agencies involved in resettlement of informal settlers.

He said that they have also revised the guidelines of the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) of the Socialized Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) in order to accelerate the “secure tenure” to informal settlers and protect them from unscrupulous operators.

Binay also said stronger linkages between key shelter agencies and Local Government Units (LGU) has been proven effective in addressing the country’s housing gap.

He cited the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Pag-IBIG fund and Quezon City that will for a housing project in Barangay Payatas for low-income personnel and informal settlers occupying danger areas.

He also said a similar MOU was forged with the municipality of Ligao, in Albay during the Pabahay Caravan in Bicol earlier this week.

“Given the critical role of the LGUs, we actively promote the creation of a land management and housing office at the local level, one that is familiar with the locality’s needs and resources and would be in the best position to determine the appropriate uses of land as well as its shelter priorities,” Binay said.

“Bringing our shelter program to the grassroots through the Pabahay Caravan we are able to establish direct face-to-face contact with the local government and the local population and offer them technical help in accessing our programs,” he added.