Sulong Dignidad Party-list welcomes the creation of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and called on the government to urgently implement a comprehensive shelter plan for all informal settler families and improve access to housing finance, especially for low to middle-income families.
“Sulong Dignidad believes having access to affordable and decent housing is a right,” said group president Atty. Rico Paolo Quicho.
“With the creation of the new housing department, we are confident that the housing department can now implement innovative programs and relocate Informal Settler Families living in danger zones.”
Quicho said one of the main provisions of the creation of DHSUD is the identification of idle government lands that can be used as in-city housing sites.
“We need to maximize use of government lands so we can provide Filipino families with housing that are close to their sources of livelihood,” Quicho said.
Sulong Dignidad is optimistic that the creation of a housing department will lead to streamlining of government functions and help address the country’s housing gap.
“Our housing sector is saddled with a huge backlog, estimated somewhere between 168,000 and 190,000 units a year. By 2021, housing need is projected to reach around 6.7 million,” he said.
“Sulong Dignidad hopes the new department “will help us address the housing need more efficiently and effectively by merging the functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB),” Quicho added.
Republic Act No. 11201 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Feb. 14, creating the DHSUD.
According to the law, the new department will act as the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing, human settlement and urban development.
It also means that it will formulate national housing and urban development policies, strategies and standards that are consistent with the Philippine Development Plan to promote social and economic welfare.
The department will also be responsible for establishing Housing One-Stop Processing Centers (HOPCs) in the regions to centralize the processing of housing-related documents.
RA 11201 attaches five government housing corporations to the Department, but the law also mandates the Secretary of Housing to work with the Governance Commission for GOCCs to restructure these state firms: National Housing Authority, Home Guaranty Corporation, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, Home Development Mutual Fund, and Social Housing Finance Corporation.
The new law also abolishes the HUDCC and the HLURB.
The HLURB will be reconstituted into the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission, to be headed by an Executive Commissioner and nine Commissioners, and shall have regional field units.