President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday, March 7, led the groundbreaking ceremony of a housing project here for the police and military personnel.

One thousand duplex-type housing units would be constructed in Casa San Miguel in Barangay San Agustin and are expected to be completed next year.

Upon arrival at the site, the President was briefed by National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. on the status of projects under the new Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP) Housing Program.

During the capsule laying, the President was joined by Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, General Manager Escalada, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairperson Eduardo del Rosario, Tarlac Governor Susan Yap, and Concepcion, Tarlac Mayor Andres Lacson.

The Chief Executive earlier graced the groundbreaking rites of other housing projects in Brgy. Talomo, Davao City; San Miguel, Bulacan; and in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte. Other projects under the AFP/PNP housing program would be constructed in Rosario, La Union; Brgy. Tugbok, Davao City; Baguio City; and Talisay City, among others.

In his remarks after the groundbreaking ceremony, Duterte said each housing unit has a 60 square meters floor area, larger than previous projects. The President said he would shoulder a part of the housing project’s cost.

“So ilan na lang bayaran nila? 880 na lang ang bayaran. Kaya na ninyo ‘yan. Sagot ko ‘yung 70,000,” he said. Following the groundbreaking rites in Concepcion, Duterte proceeded to San Vicente, Tarlac for the site inspection of the new Tarlac Provincial Hospital outpatient department (OPD).

With a total project cost of PHP252,666,298, the Tarlac OPD seeks to provide ambulatory services to patients whose medical condition can be treated on an outpatient basis.

Of the total amount, PHP300 million came from the Department of Health Health Facilities Enhancement Program while the other PHP250 million was culled from the Provincial Government of Tarlac’s General Fund.

The construction of the new Tarlac OPD is composed of four phases. The first phase is already 95 percent done and is expected to be completed by April. The second phase, meanwhile, is 75 percent complete. The third and fourth phases on the other hand, are still up for bidding.

Services to be offered in the OPD include general medicine, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, hemodialysis, dental, physical therapy, and diagnostics.

During the visit, President Duterte was joined by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go. (PND)