Legarda Seeks to Increase Affordable Housing for Filipinos

October 3, 2016

In observance of the World Habitat Day (October 3), Senator Loren Legarda renewed her call for the passage of a bill seeking to create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD), which aims to address the country’s housing needs and other related issues through an efficient and holistic national shelter program.

The 2016 World Habitat Day aims to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing for all in urban areas, towns and cities.

“I urge my colleagues to join me in the effort to help millions of Filipinos find, keep and live in affordable and permanent housing. For the past decades, the lack of decent housing remains an issue that warrants government’s attention because majority of Filipinos cannot afford to have his or her own house,” Legarda stressed.

Legarda, author of Senate Bill No. 37, said the DHUD will be responsible in shepherding a more coordinated and efficient national shelter program. It will act as the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing and urban development. It will also undertake the functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the planning and regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

The Senator stressed that the country needs a more integrated approach in addressing housing needs, adding that with the creation of a housing department, 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.

“We ought to invest properly and strategically. Construction and housing are the key engines of job creation in the country, yet it sorely lacks attention of the government. It is imperative to create a Housing Department that will be at the forefront of this effort to assist in providing homes for our people,” she stressed.

The bill also proposes 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 permit, clearances and licenses.