200 farmers to get houses from DAR
By Connie Calipay
Agrarian reform farmer-beneficiaries (ARBs) in Albay will soon own new housing units through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) program dubbed Building Adequate, Livable, Afforda-ble and Inclusive Filipino Communities (BALAI).
Gerard Buensalida, DAR Bicol spokesperson, said at least 200 farmer-beneficiaries will be giv-en bungalow-type houses to be built on a 2.6-hectare property in Barangay Upper Binogsacan in Guinobatan town.
“The beneficiaries are ARBs who are members of the Albay Dairy Farmers Multi-Purpose Co-operative in Guinobatan, Albay. The project recipients are holders of a certificate of land owner-ship award, who do not own a house, are active members of the organization, and have the willing-ness to avail and has the capacity to pay,” Buensalida said.
Around 70 percent of project recipients are ARBs while the remaining 30 percent will be given by the Guinobatan municipality to other low-income farmers.
“The construction of the project will start 15 days after the signing of the memorandum of un-derstanding, and when the notice to proceed is already available. The project must also be complet-ed within 12 months,” Buensalida added.
In a statement, DAR Bicol chief Rodrigo Realubit said the initiative not only aims to provide the impoverished with a home in partnership with other agencies but also to “honor our unsung he-roes - our farmers, who are among the most neglected sectors of our society”.
“The 36-square-meter concrete houses will have two bedrooms, one toilet with electricity and water connections, a granite kitchen, tiled floors, and completely painted interior and exterior walls,” he said.
Each house costs P520,000 and will be paid for by the farmers over a maximum of 25 years at 2 percent to 3 percent annual interest.
Patricia Rastrullo, Albay OIC-Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer I, said in another statement that aside from the houses, DAR will provide livelihood programs for the beneficiaries within the location. (PNA)