A ‘PACMAN village’ is set to rise in the same Sarangani barangay where a dirt-poor Manny Pacquiao spent his boyhood years.
On Tuesday, the billionaire boxer returned to his old neighborhood in Barangay Tango in Glan, Sarangani province to distribute rights to new houses to be partially funded by Pacquiao’ purse from past fights.
Most of the beneficiaries are Pacquiao’s former neighbors in a squatters’ area in Purok I in Tango proper, where new houses will rise thanks to a P1.5 million fund – with half of the amount put up by the barangay council and the other half coming from the boxer’s pocket.
Ninety-four families are set to benefit from the housing project, which will be built with the help of Habitat for Humanity.
Another housing project in the same village stands to benefit 100 families. The boxer, also a congressman representing Sarangani, has earmarked P2 million of his own money for the project.
“You don’t have to pay anything except that you must help build your own houses,” Pacquiao said when he spoke before the beneficiaries, composed mostly of families from the indigenous Blaan community.
“When you already own the lot, don’t sell it. Once you sell it, where will you live? You will be squatters again,” he added.
The fighting congressman asked the beneficiaries to value their houses, saying the money he allotted for the twin projects came from his prize purse in the fiercely fought bout against Mexican Antonio Margarito in Dallas in 2010.
“Don’t forget that this housing project was built using the prize money I won during my fight with Margarito. During that fight, I was hit here,” Pacquaio said, pointing to his right rib cage.
Sarangani Governor Miguel Dominguez said the housing projects will be called “Pacman-Tata” village.