MANILA - Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Wednesday said that there is no need for the National Housing Authority (NHA) to build housing units for police and soldiers since state troops can afford to buy from private builders.
Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) should be part of the formal sector because they receive salaries, Recto said during a budget hearing in the Senate.
"I don't think there is a need for NHA to build homes for them," he said.
"They should be eligible to borrow from Pag-ibig, and let the private sector build the homes so they can choose where they want to live," he said, referring to the government's housing loan fund.
Under the NHA's AFP-PNP Housing Program, "affordable" housing units are sold to "low-salaried" personnel of the following agencies:
- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
- Philippine National Police (PNP)
- Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)
- Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP)
- Bureau of Corrections (BuCor)
In 2017, the NHA increased the size of housing units for state troopers to between 40 to 80 square meters, after some 4,000 members of Kadamay took over unoccupied houses of police and soldiers in Pandi, Bulacan.
A Senate investigation into the incident revealed that soldiers and police who were eligible to receive the low-cost housing units were not consulted in the planning and design of their future residence.
A representative from the AFP had also told senators that some soldiers refuse to live in the low-cost units because these are usually built in suburbs far from their current place of living.