DAR collaborates with FINTQ in housing program for agrarian reform beneficiaries

(From left): Ecosystem Build and Activation Specialist Christine Mallare; DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Emily Padilla; Pag-Ibig Fund SVP Jun Espana, Jr.; DAR Regional Director for Central Luzon Arnel Dizon; Ecosystem Build and Activation Leader Butch Garcia; DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) 1 Jocelyn Ramones; and DAR PARO 2 Romeo Cordero

FINTQnologies Corp. (FINTQ), along with private and public institutions, will help provide agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) with affordable home financing, a first under the government’s 30-year implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

As part of the program, FINTQ, through the housing program initiated by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), will provide ARBs KasamaKA microinsurance for free for the first three months of the policy. FINTQ will also brief the beneficiaries about available lending facilities for them through Lendr’s partner banks and financial institutions.

The housing program calls for the establishment of on-site and off-site housing financing schemes. The on-site housing scheme will cover home improvements of existing houses of ARBs, construction or purchase of a new house, and refinancing of an existing housing loan. Meanwhile, the off-site housing scheme covers subdivision projects located in the capital or in major urban centers of the host provinces, with subdivision plans and designs that incorporate production facilities such as rice and sugar mills, dryers, and warehouses.

DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Emily Padilla and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) senior vice president for Finance Florentino Espana Jr. said they have already identified seven pilot areas for the housing program, namely, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija; Argao, Cebu; Panabo, Davao del Norte; and Butig, Marantao and Piagapo all in Lanao del Sur. Two model housing units are already on display at the DAR office in Quezon City and in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones had said under the second phase of agrarian reform, the ARBs housing program will be one of the major programs that would greatly improve the living condition of farmer-beneficiaries in the country.

“As the DAR celebrates CARP’s 30 year-implementation, the ARBs housing program shall serve as the new face of DAR. This program will pursue financial and ecological needs of ARBs, affordable and decent housing and convergence of support,” he said.

There are some 2.8 million CARP farmer-beneficiaries nationwide and most of them do not own their houses or live in dilapidated shelters.

“We have seen the increased traction and adoption of all stakeholders, especially our unbanked and underserved Filipinos. They will now be empowered with alternative options to access affordable finance and enjoy sachet financial services,” said Lito Villanueva, founder and lead Convenor of KasamaKA and concurrently FINTQ’s managing director and chair of FinTechAlliance.ph.

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