A lawmaker has filed a bill mandating the local government units (LGUs) to instutionalize “pathways-to-housing schemes” to enable employees from the public sector to own a house.
Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) said the pathways-to-housing schemes proposed in House Bill 5824 is the government workers’ reward for their hard work.
Aside from a decent and livable wage, “reward for work” must include affordable housing, Castelo stressed.
“Individuals as long as gainfully employed will have the opportunities at their disposal to own a house more so if the whole concept of mass housing for interested and qualified individuals is institutionalized,” Castelo said.
Under the pathways-to-housing schemes, all LGUs throughout the country shall grant their employees low interest or other similar arrangement or repayment terms and conditions in acquiring a house.
The bill, to be known as the Pathways-to-Housing Schemes Act of 2015, hopes to encourage the private sector to adopt the scheme into their corporate social responsibility program.
“The bill proposes that mass housing be part of the mandate of the LGUs and their private sector counterparts as a matter of employee benefits. Whenever practicable, the government may in fact subsidize these innovative schemes with low interests and on the private sector with a similar arrangement or contractual terms,” Castelo said.
Some private companies have already taken the initiative to embark on mass housing for their employees, according to Castelo.
“Meralco villages are a good example of what the company does for its employees,” he said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have likewise initiated similar housing programs as part of the benefits of their uniformed personnel, Castelo said.
Castelo said that if the schemes will be replicated in all LGUs, the problem of homelessness would be addressed more effectively.