Efforts to establish DHUD gains support

Several senate bills on the establishment of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) were reviewed during a Senate hearing of the Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement. The joint hearing was attended by representatives from key shelter agencies and social security institutions.

Several senate bills on the establishment of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) were reviewed during a Senate hearing of the Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement. The joint hearing was attended by representatives from key shelter agencies and social security institutions.

Senate bill numbers 37, 232, 328, and 952 seek to consolidate the functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) to create a government entity that is responsible for "planning and policy-making,regulatory, program coordination, and performance monitoring entity for all housing and urban development concerns, primarily focusing on the access to
and affordability of the basic human needs."

Senators Loren Legarda, Franklin Drilon, JV Ejercito, and Sonny Angara drafted the bills, aiming to provide various measures calling for the setup of the DHUD.

Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, who drafted Senate Bill 232, acknowledged housing to be a social need in the Philippines and pleaded for the urgency of putting up a structure that will address the country's housing concerns.  He claimed that the creation of DHUD will secure sole jurisdiction on housing and urban development matters, creating a one-stop service center that will cater to the poor and the homeless.

Dir. Avelino Tolentino of HUDCC stressed that it is timely to establish the DHUD, given that a new administration is in power, and the housing need is expected to increase by the end of 2016.

Furthermore, Tolentino also acknowledged housing proposals in-line with the global transitions such as the adjustment of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development that will secure safe, connected, resilient, and inclusive areas for the Filipino people.

HUDCC expects support in terms of regular budgetary allocation for the expanded functions of the DHUD during the deliberations with the Department of Budget.

Speaking on behalf of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Comm. Luis Paredes expressed the agency's support for proposed bills, especially the separation of the regulatory and judicatory functions of HLURB given the preexisting challenges it faced due to conflict of interest.

Other agencies such as the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Social Security System (SSS) were also present and maintained their full support on the bills.

The agencies will be submitting their respective position papers on the bills discussed before the next scheduled hearing.

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