FOR only a daily savings of P85, or P2,280 a month, a minimum-wage earner can now own a home because of the commitment and passion of the people behind Joy~Nostalg affiliate Extraordinary Enclaves Inc.
Cecil Benavidez, executive director of the Joy~Nostalg Foundation (JNF), said the corporate philanthropy arm of the Joy~Nostalg group aims to provide the social-housing services to the country’s rank-and-file employees. “They receive the least of social services from the government,” she explained in an interview recently with the BusinessMirror at the sidelines of the premiere screening of Tagumpay na Nagniningning in Greenhills when it recently launched its first social-housing project called Pasinaya Homes.
To promote the relevant advocacy, JNF developed Pasinaya HELP (Home Empowerment Learning Program), which teaches the beneficiaries the basic principles of financial management, home ownership and imparts appropriate family values and, thus, through competent knowledge and values formation, responsibly owning a home is possible.
Pasinaya Homes is a 7.8-hectare project in Naic, Cavite. A total of 1,700 units will be built wherein 700 units have already been taken. Each owner will have a two-story 32-square-meter house worth P450,000 and with zero equity. Some of the beneficiaries were referred to the program, while others have been asked to apply.
Leading the way for JNF’s Pasinaya HELP is Tagumpay Na Nagniningning, a short film with a theme song of the same title, which depicts the dreams, struggles and success of the ordinary Filipino to improve their family life by having a home of their own.
The movie was conceptualized, produced and based on a story by JNF Chairman Jacinto Ng Jr. and was directed by widely acclaimed filmmaker Paul Soriano, with screenplay by award-winning screenwriter Froilan Medina and produced by veteran producer-director Jeric Soriano.
Benavidez admitted the project is ambitious, but JNF is bullish because of Ng’s passion and vision in promoting social housing in the country. “Mr. Ng is passionate about this program. He has this long desire to introduce a social innovation in the field of social housing,” Benavidez said.
Building a home
The goal of JNF is not simply to build a house but a home. In expounding, Benavidez pointed out that JNF wants the owners to build a community where the residents will interact in harmony. To ensure they will be there for a long time, JNF will establish training centers in the community for mothers and children to build their capabilities. With the acquired skills, paying the amortization would be easier for the families.
“Paying the amortization is a bit steep and Mr. Ng wants to avoid property slippage,” Benavidez added.
“We also make sure that they have increased competency by giving practical tips on savings and other basic financial planning,” she said.
Aside from giving tenure to certify they are the owner of the house, JNF also introduces social dimension by putting a health center, schools and other important elements in sustainable living and ensure they will not forfeit the housing program.
Expansion and getting the right volume
Ng said the company hopes to expand and build social-housing units in other areas. So far, JNF has a big landbank in Naic that can possibly be harnessed for the social-housing program.
“If this business model works, hopefully we can go into other areas. We are supporting the government. We are subsidizing all the charges of the buyer,” Ng explained.
Ng admitted it is a huge challenge because the profit margin in social housing is not ideal as compared to condominiums and other high-end developments. Aside from achieving a great sense of fulfillment being able to help people, Ng hopes the Extraordinary Enclaves can achieve a decent profit through volumes to be able to continue building socialized-housing units.
Moreover, Ng said, the government should pour its resources in developing the suburbs instead of heeding the call of other sectors to develop inner-city housing development for the poor because of the exorbitant rates of land in the cities.
Ng recalled the country faces a huge challenge in social housing as over 3 million families do not have their own homes. After graduating with an architecture degree from the University of the Philippines in 1986, he joined his father Jacinto Sr. to become a property developer for the low and middle market.
But the challenges in social-housing remain.
“Thirty years later, due to continuing high costs and eroding profits, the housing industry has developed far less houses with many developers shifting from middle- to high-income market levels or painfully continuing housing for the low-income market for compliance sake, or just simply ending its operations,” Ng said.
He recalled Xavier mentor Fr. Cortina and father Jacinto Sr. inspired him to pursue his goal and, at the same time, excel in any endeavor he will pursue. “And, of course, my mother would always tell me, “Listen to your father.”
Ng mentioned that it was a personal mission to establish a social business model that applies the use of self-continuity of business to address the social problem of homelessness in a sustainable manner, preventing poverty slippage, while promoting wealth-creation and actively preserving the dignity of the Filipino working masses. “And the result was the establishment of the nonprofit Joy~Nostalg Foundation; with the goal of empowering and preparing the Filipino working masses to responsibly invest and to own their homes…forever,” he said.
To make the program stay for the long haul, Ng stressed the importance of providing competent financial knowledge and promote Filipino values formation in the most impactful and enduring manner, yet within the shortest time possible.
Finally, Ng’s creative mind led into making the film and song Tagumpay Na Nagniningning. Both film and song aim to educate and inspire the viewers that, with the right set of values and knowledge, with love and light, owning one’s family home is attainable, not impossible.