DHSUD: Government housing program to contribute to economic growth

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The administration’s Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) Program will play a significant role in the attainment of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2023 to 2028, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) said.

In a statement, DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar over the weekend said the 4PH Program will contribute in maintaining economic growth and creating more resilient jobs.

“As we pursue the mission to build and dispense one million housing units per year, we are also espousing township development that will ensure sustainable co-existence of all elements and players in a housing community,” Acuzar said.

The PDP 2023-2028 includes the establishment of livable communities as among its key transformation strategies under the social and urban development sector, “by upgrading and planning human settlements such that an integrated use of space will bring people closer to work, recreation and transit options.”

The DHSUD said the goal to establish livable communities is anchored on the country’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 11 to make cities and human settlements “inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

To comply with the goal, the 4PH Program pursues innovative strategies to maximize the use of land resources such as vacant, idle, blighted and underutilized government and private-owned lands for housing and mixed-use development, the DHSUD said.

The program also targets to optimize land utilization, especially in highly urbanized and component cities through prioritizing vertical housing and adopting township development models.

“We give weight to the fact that the country’s population growth remains as one of the fastest in Asia, yet our spatial legroom remains constant. It literally maintains its original size and shape, prodding us to strategize on its use while protecting everything that inhabits it,” Acuzar said.

Statistics from local housing boards showed that there are approximately 3.7 million informal settler families in the country, half a million of whom are in Metro Manila.

“Living under poor conditions, they occupy blighted areas, within easements, beside railways, waterways, esteros, among other dangerous areas. This poses serious risks to their health and exposes them to hazards and natural disasters,” the DHSUD said.

It said the 4PH Program focuses on developing low, mid to high-rise projects near the sources of livelihood of target beneficiaries.

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