Upon receiving the detailed tour from the Valenzuela local government units (LGUs) around Disiplina Village in Brgy. Bignay, Valenzuela City on August 1, 2022, the team from the Ministry of Human Settlements and Development, the Housing Arm of the BARMM, gained insight on how to better implement housing projects with intention to build a capacitated community of empowered homeowners.

Led by Minister Hamid Aminoddin D. Barra, the MHSD team, comprised of the technical top management for the ministry’s operations, visited sites in Disiplina Village Bignay, where they learned of the residents’ way of life and its steady improvement after resettling from the city’s waterways.

The visit is an intiative in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to enhance the current system in providing socially cohesive, safe, and dignified homes and communities for the people of the Bangsamoro, and is part of the Partnership Review and Planning aimed to identify ways to strengthen the partnership between CRS and MHSD.

Minister Barra emphasized the importance of keeping in mind the Bangsamoro context, namely identity, territory and government, when adopting housing projects implemented by agencies such as CRS, DHSUD, HLURB, NHA, and Disiplina Village, of which the MHSD conducts cross-learning visits to.

Guided by Eunice B. Serano, Supervisor of the Valenzuela Governance Tour and Events Unit, and Maynard Lopez, President of the Disiplina Village Homeowners Association, the team inspected notable community locations within Disiplina Village Bignay, such as the community gardens, fish ponds, elementary and high schools, friendship parks, and mini city hall.

Residents of Disiplina Village Bignay pay a public rental of Php 300 per month, to which Housing and Homesite Regulation Officer IV Mark D. Dizor explains is to “encourage residents to save for their own permanent housing in the future, however, until then, they can be rest assured in Disiplina Village.”

Unlike the Transitory Housing Project, Director General Esmael W. Ebrahim clarified that the MHSD’s projects will be focused on Permanent Housing and Resettlement, thus beneficiaries will be awarded house, lot and title once the houses are ready to be delivered and the awardees selected.

Disiplina Village Bignay is part of the Valenzuela LGU’s initiative to make Valenzuela City informal settler free and is currently housing approximately 3,100 families out of its target 3,700.

“As we move forward, we observed the needs–what is lacking–on housing, especially during disaster,” Engr. Ariel Sadural, CRS Technical Advisor II, said.

He also emphasized that disaster affected victims not only need relief, but also require health, social and economy infrastructure, and livelihood programs, thus why he praised the Valenzuela LGU’s concept and implementation of housing programs.

The MHSD team first paid a courtesy visit to the Valenzuela City Hall and were oriented on Valenzuela’s rich history displayed in its museum before heading to Disiplina Village Bignay.