LAOAG – The Board of the National Housing Authority (NHA) has approved the first housing project for members of the Aeta community, Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Jejomar C. Binay said today.

Other indigenous communities will also be beneficiaries of the housing program for Indigenous Peoples (IP), a new program approved by the NHA Board chaired by Binay.

Binay said the housing project will benefit the Tribung Ayta ng Nabuklod (TAN) association, whose members are residents of the municipality of Floridablanca, Pampanga. The provincial government of Pampanga earlier expressed its intention to resettle around 3,000 homeless Aetas.

“Initially, we have allocated P14 million for this project for the construction of 350 housing units for members of Aeta community,” said Binay.

The Vice President made the announcement in his speech during the eighth leg of the Pabahay Caravan in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

In a press conference, Binay said aside from housing, HUDCC will also tap the private sector to provide jobs and livelihood opportunities for IPs near their housing sites.

“Marahil dati ay naririnig n’yo na ang mga programa para sa IPs. Pero ngayon, totohanan na ‘to. We are focusing more on livelihood opportunities for them,” Binay said.

In his dialog with local officials, planning officers and housing program heads of Region I, Binay said the HUDCC will work closely with local government units (LGUs) to ensure the effective implementation of housing projects for indigenous communities, government employees, and constituents.

He added that the Pabahay Caravan seeks to build a stronger partnership between the national government and the LGUs to build more affordable homes and enhance the delivery of housing services to the people.

The Vice President also said the NHA and HUDCC are working double time to deliver before the end of the year more than 16,000 housing units for personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) under President Aquino’s AFP/PNP Housing Program.

Meanwhile, the Vice President led the ceremonial awarding of 57 Transfer Certificate of Titles (TCTs) to beneficiaries of Pag-IBIG Fund’s FVR-Palaris Housing Project and NHA’s housing projects in Paoay and Candon City.

The caravan was the eighth conducted this year with the last seven held in Cebu, Baguio City, Tagaytay City, Davao, Pampanga, Zamboanga and Tacloban.