By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, Oct. 15 (PNA) — President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday commended the National Housing Authority (NHA) for constructing additional 483,063 permanent housing and housing assistance for the last five years of his administration.
In his speech during the 40th NHA anniversary at the Convenarium, Crossroad Center in Quezon City, President Aquino said the housing agency has constructed 1,351,768 housing units and 36 percent of which have been achieved only in the last five years under his administration slogan “Daang Matuwid” (straight path).
The President said the 483,063 does not include the 142,374 permanent housing that are under construction and will be finished by 2016.
”This day is a concrete proof of what we changed and achieved under Daang Matuwid. We gathered here today to celebrate the NHA’s 40th anniversary and your great contribution in giving shelter to our people specially the poor,” he said.
The President thanked the NHA officials led by its chairman Chito Cruz as well as the various sectors for helping the government in providing shelters for the homeless people.
”I’ve been saying this: I cannot do all these things. That’s why to you, our hardworking employees of NHA, through the help of our bosses, you have made change. Thank you very much to all of you,” President Aquino said.
Through the NHA, the President said the government was also able to provide 57,760 housing units out of the 81,702 target for the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) housing project.
The NHA has also provided 249,129 housing units for the victims of calamities under the government’s “Build Back Better” program.
”My bosses, we have achieved all of this because of Daang Matuwid. We did not stop, we did not swerve and we did not pull each other down. Instead, we chose to unite and work,” the President said.
”Indeed, we have achieved this far but, again, soon we will face a crossed-road. The question is: do we have to continue what we have started, or we will go back to the old path of corruption and poverty? Our future is in your hands,” he added.
The President got the loudest applause when he announced that he approved the increase of the NHA’s “milestone bonus” for its employees from PhP3,000 to PhP10,000. (PNA)