Legarda Bats for Immediate Passage of Housing Dept Bill

September 8, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda has sought the immediate passage of the proposed measure creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) to immediately and efficiently address the country’s housing needs and other related issues.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, renewed her call for the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 37 creating the DHUD, following the concerns raised by Vice President Leni Robredo during the Senate hearing on the budgets of the Office of the Vice President and shelter agencies.


“The Philippine housing sector is replete with enormous challenges, spanning the issues of ever-increasing need for affordable housing provisions, limited access to housing finance, the need for more sustainable housing solutions, and the need to relocate families and households to safer ground on account of increasing threats of disasters,” she explained.


Statistics from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) show that the country currently has a backlog of 5.56 million housing units.


The HUDCC also lacks accurate data on the number of informal settler families (ISFs) nationwide and list of all government land available for housing. Latest official available data is the 2011 count of 1.4 million ISFs.


Legarda explained that the DHUD’s primary focus is on the access to and affordability of housing and related basic services vital to human needs. It will be responsible for shepherding a more coordinated and efficient national shelter program.


“Through the DHUD, the government will be able to address urbanization and its challenges with greater efficiency and capacitate local government units to effectively respond to the growing needs of urban and rural poor dwellers,” she said.


Under SBN 37, the DHUD will act as the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing and urban development. It will undertake the functions of HUDCC and the planning and regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).


The measure also provides the creation of Social Housing One-Stop Processing Centers (SHOPCs) in the regions, which shall be responsible for the centralized processing and issuance of all required housing-related permits, clearances and licenses.