Press Release
November 9, 2018

Sen. Ejercito pushes for the creation of housing department as the nation remembers 'Yolanda'

SENATOR JV Ejercito on Friday renewed his call for the immediate enactment into law of his bill, which seeks to create the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), as the nation remembers the "Yolanda" tragedy that happened 5 years ago.

Ejercito aired his fresh call as he expressed disappointment over the slow and problematic rehabilitation of areas like Tacloban and Leyte severely devastated by super typhoon "Yolanda" on November 8, 2013 that killed thousands of individuals and left hundreds of thousands more homeless.

"As we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 'Yolanda' tragedy, the victims are still waiting and struggling for their lives to be back to normal again. But they could hardly move forward because until now, they have no permanent and decent homes," Ejercito, chair of the Senate housing committee, said in a statement.

He said the slow and incomplete construction of housing units, sub-standard in many cases, for the victims "is unacceptable and should not similarly happen in other housing projects."

Ejercito said the DHSUD would eliminate in the entire housing program of the government the "bureaucratic ills" as well as address other issues that are present in and hounding the housing and relocation projects component of the "Yolanda" rehabilitation.

Under Ejercito's Senate Bill No. 1578 entitled, "an Act Creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development," the administrative function of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the planning and regulatory function of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board will be consolidated under the DHSUD.

The DHSUD will act as the sole and main 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 decent, affordable and secure shelter.

"What we need is one housing department with one board and working towards one direction, creating the roadmap for housing and urban development, leading its implementation, setting the general direction for everyone, and able to follow through each and every project with clear functions, policies, budget and financing," he pointed out.

Ejercito said he would push for the immediate Senate ratification of the bill's bicameral conference report when session resumes starting on November 12.

"The DHSUD will make sure better quality housing projects and faster production of housing units since it's a full-fledged department. I am confident that President Duterte will sign this into law as soon as it reaches his table," he said.

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