Press Release
August 31, 2016


"One housing department should be a priority", said Senator JV Ejercito who is once again pushing for the creation of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development. This was reiterated yesterday when he convened the first meeting of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement.

"The creation of a Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development has long been in the halls of Congress. The housing sector has NOT been in the forefront of national priorities in the past years and administration. Considering the increase in the number of informal settler families and the homeless, the housing need has already swelled to 5.5 million," lamented the senator who is the Chairman of the said Senate committee.

Senator Ejercito was saddened by reports that the proposed budget of the National Housing Authority was decreased due to the agency's under-spending. In the 2017 proposed budget, housing for the poor will have a P15.4-billion budget. More than twelve (P12.6) billion will be given to the NHA for the construction of socialized housing, predominantly the resettlement of informal settlers from danger zones and housing assistance for calamity victims.

"Ang bahay ay buhay. Isa sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng bawat pamilya at batayang karapatan ng bawat mamamayan. Hindi lamang mga informal settlers ang tinutukoy natin, kundi pati na rin ang dumaraming low income at middle income na pamilya na nag-aasam at nangangarap na magkaroon ng sariling bahay," added Ejercito.

Ejercito believes, "Housing must be a 'total package' affordable to all, to include access to basic services and livelihood, mass transport system, schools, and hospitals. And so, we need one strong housing department, not merely a coordinating body, that will serve as a one-stop-shop, to effectively direct and coordinate the activities and policies of the governments' housing agencies, provide affordable housing packages and ensure the development and accomplishment of a National Housing and Urban Development Master Plan."

Senator Ejercito also said, "We should take advantage that the new administration has made housing and resettlement one of its priorities. This time, we have an administration with the political will that we can work with to finally pass this long-overdue piece of legislation. A housing department prioritizes shelter and human settlements as an integral part of the country's development agenda. The people have waited long enough for their dreams of having safe and decent housing. It is time to give it to them."

News Latest News Feed