CEBU Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) is hoping to obtain a green building certification for its P100-million tenement housing project in Mandaue City, the company’s chief operating officer said.

“This next one we’re doing in Mandaue will really secure a green building certification,” Jose Franco B. Soberano, CLI chief operating officer, told BusinessWorld in a virtual call last week, referring to the building for ecologically responsive design excellence (BERDE) certification.

“It’s going to go through a BERDE certification since Mandaue City is a big partner,” he added.

Cebu Landmasters pledged to donate a five-story 100-unit tenement housing project for the people of Mandaue City last month, where the company has built over four residential and mixed-use projects to date. It also recently broke ground for its Mandtra Residences project.

In a press statement, CLI said it shares the vision of the city “to provide resilient and quality public housing for its constituents in a highly accessible location.”

“What’s unique here, not all developers will say that we’re okay with an outright donation versus a normal socialized project, where you can recover because you can sell,” Mr. Soberano said.

“These kinds of tenement condos are a tripartite agreement, so Cebu Landmasters, the local government, and DHSUD (Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development),” Mr. Soberano said, adding that the housing projects are part of the BALAI (Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable and Inclusive Filipino Communities) program.

The tenement housing project in Mandaue City is said to be located near the old Cebu International Convention Center. It will be the company’s second tenement housing donation as the first donation is located in Cebu City’s Barangay Lorega-San Miguel.

Both properties were provided by Cebu City and Mandaue City.

“That one we’re doing for Cebu is already topped off, so it’s actually almost done,” Mr. Soberano said.

The P115-million 100-unit condominium in Cebu City aims to offer in-city housing for informal settlers or for those affected by living near danger zones. It will follow a “transient housing” model, which will allow those displaced to stay for five to 10 years “until they are able to get back on their feet, get a good job.” 

CLI said the construction for the Cebu City tenement housing “moved very fast.”

“We used an expensive system. I really wanted to break the mold that socialized housing is that way, the housing for our less fortunate should be just as good as market housing,” Mr. Soberano said.

Units for the tenement housing projects will span 25 square meters (sq.m.) to 30 sq.m. The project in Cebu City will feature open spaces and parking areas, among other recreational areas.

CLI said it aimed to build units where dwellers “would be proud to live in.”

“We’d love to do this as much as we can. That’s why we’re inspired to do more projects, the more projects we’re able to do successfully, the more kinds of tenement condos we’re able to do,” Mr. Soberano said.

A “nice goal” for CLI is to pledge and donate at least one tenement condominium a year, he added.

“But it would also mean there are 10 to 20 projects a year we’d have to launch and it’s a tall order, but it’s a great goal with a great charitable purpose always in mind.” — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte