10 April 2013

Hanjin inaugurates employees housing project

CASTILLEJOS, Zambales — South Korean firm Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil) turned over to employee-recipients on Saturday a total of 300 newly-completed housing units, making good on its promise to deliver affordable housing to its workers.

HHIC-Phil president Jin Kyu Ahn said the units form part of Phase 1 of Hanjin Village, a low-cost housing project that the Korean shipbuilder had initiated as early as 2008 when it bought a 33-hectare site from the Castillejos municipal government.

The new units were inaugurated by Ahn and guests of honor Vice President Jejomar Binay, Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., Castillejos Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Roberto Garcia.

They were joined in the ceremony by Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Secretary General Cecilia Alba, Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Atty. Darlene Marie Berberabe, and real estate developer Fiesta Communities Inc. president Wilfred Tan.

In his message during the inauguration, Binay noted that the project will involve the construction of a total of 2,775 housing units that will be built in two phases: 1,730 units for the first phase and 1,000 units for the second phase. As of now, the developer has constructed about 350 units.

Binay, who chairs both the HUDCC and the Pag-IBIG board, told Hanjin employees that they can avail of the housing units through Pag-IBIG Fund’s housing loan designed specifically for the HHIC-Phil project.

He added that for this, Pag-IBIG had lowered its interest rate from 4.5% to 4% for employees earning P12,000 or less monthly, who may want to avail of units costing P400,000. For employees who receive monthly salaries of more than P12,000 up to P14,000, interest rates have been lowered from 6.5% to 6% he added.

Binay also noted that Hanjin employees will not be required to pay down-payment or equity, and that Hanjin has already donated the land for the project site.

“This means that the monthly amortization you’ll be paying will only be for the construction of our houses. This translates to huge savings for you,” Binay also said.

On the same occasion, SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia and SBMA Director Benjamin Antonio conferred with the vice president on the possibility of putting up a similar low-cost housing project for SBMA employees and other workers in the Subic Bay Freeport.

Binay said that initiatives like the Hanjin Village are clear examples of the public-private partnership program being pushed by the government under the leadership of President Aquino.

HHIC’s Ahn had said earlier that the Hanjin Village project is “part of our mission to promote the welfare of workers by providing them with a dream house within their reach.”

He said the housing complex will have all the needed facilities like an elementary school, bus terminals for free-shuttle buses, multipurpose hall, as well as an extension office for the barangay, among others. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)

Vice President Jejomar Binay (left) explains to SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia (middle) and SBMA Director Benjamin Antonio the requirements for a low-cost housing project that the two officials have in mind for SBMA employees and workers in the Subic Bay Freeport.