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Legarda revives proposed creation of housing dep’t

Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - August 4, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Loren Legarda has revived the proposed creation of a Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD), a bill that was approved by the Senate in the 15th Congress but was not acted upon by the House of Representatives.

In a statement, Legarda emphasized the need to consolidate the work of different government agencies on housing and urban development into one department, the head of which would be a member of the President’s Cabinet.

Legarda said that the proposed DHUD would help address the four million housing backlog, which affects about one-fourth of the Philippine population.

The proposed DHUD would take over the functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the planning and regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.

“It will cover all housing and urban development concerns, primarily focusing on the access to and affordability of housing and related basic services vital to human needs,” Legarda said.

The DHUD would also be tasked to ensure the availability of basic services and facilities, accessibility and proximity to job sites, and other economic opportunities in the development of housing and resettlement areas for the poor.

Legarda added that the bill would also streamline the processes involved in securing homes for private individuals as well as those covered by the government’s housing programs by eliminating unnecessary and duplicative information requirements.

“The Philippine housing sector is facing enormous challenges, including the issues of ever-increasing need for affordable housing provisions, limited access to housing finance, the need for more sustainable housing solutions, and more recently, the need to relocate families and households to safer grounds on account of the increasing threats of disasters,” Legarda said.

“Our goal is that we have a more coordinated and efficient national shelter program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” she added.

The Senate was able to approve on third and final reading Senate Bill 3199 or the proposed creation of the DHUD in July 2012 with 16 votes.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sponsored the bill as the chairman of the committee on urban planning, housing and resettlement at the time.

Sens. Franklin Drilon and Jinggoy Estrada and former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri also filed their respective bills calling for the creation of the DHUD.

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT DRILON AND JINGGOY ESTRADA FERDINAND MARCOS JR. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HOUSING HOUSING AND LAND USE REGULATORY BOARD HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI LEGARDA SENATE BILL
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