Manny Pacquiao, 33-year-old Filipino professional boxer and congressman, is spending hundreds of thousands of his own dollars to help those in need of housing in his old home village.
Pacquiao returned to Barangay Tango in Glan, Sarangani, the Filipino village where he grew up, to offer free housing to the impoverished people who currently reside there. The project will benefit an estimated 94 families and cost the pugilist over $2 million.
The boxer told his constituents that they would be allowed to live for free but that they must help build their own houses.
"You don't have to pay anything except that you must help build your own houses," Pacquiao told the people expecting to move in once the project is completed, according to an Inquirer News report.
While the houses will also be constructed with the help of the Habitat for Humanity organization, Pacquiao cautioned his people against selling their land for quick money.
"When you already own the lot, don't sell it. Once you sell it, where will you live? You will be squatters again," he said.
Pacquiao will use the money that he earned in a 2010 bout against Antonio Margarito, and told his people not to take it for granted.
"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 rib cage with a laugh.
The fighter's efforts did not go unnoticed by Sarangani Gov. Miguel Dominguez, who said the new housing projects will be called "Pacman-Tata" village after Pacquiao.
"Congressman Pacquiao, you have touched 195 lives today, maraming salamat," Dominguez said in a speech thanking the fighter.
The effort is not the first time that Pacquiao has used his own money to help his community. Pacquiao donated the money he made from his last controversial bout with Timothy Bradley to his constituents in Sarangani who lost their homes after flash floods ravished the area in June.