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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



04 December 2020 05:53:39 PM

The House Committee on Housing and Urban Development chaired by Cavite Rep. Strike Revilla on Friday approved the Committee Report on the Substitute Bill seeking to create a rental housing subsidy program for informal settler families. The bill provides that a monthly rental subsidy of up to a maximum of P3,500 (with variance depending on the region) would be given to each ISF beneficiary that would be affected by government national projects. It substituted House Bills 157, 2417, 3035, 4280, 7008, 7215, 7269, 7292 and 7364. Approval of the committee report came after the funding provision of the substitute bill was approved by the Committee on Appropriations last Nov. 18. But, the appropriations panel deleted Section 9 that states the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development would make additional plantilla positions to ensure the proper implementation of the subsidy program. Principal authors of the bill include Reps. Jose Christopher Belmonte, Precious Hipolito Castelo, and John Marvin 'Yul Servo' Nieto, Deputy Speakers Johnny Ty Pimentel and Rufus Rodriguez, Reps. Luis Raymund 'LRay' Villafuerte Jr., Alfred Vargas, Joy Myra Tambunting and Estrellia Suansing. The committee also created a technical working group, to be headed by Northern Samar Rep. Paul Ruiz Daza, to work on HB 366 which would strengthen the vital role of ICT by amending pertinent provisions of Presidential Decree No. 957 or the “Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree”, as amended by PD 1216. Author and Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap said telcom companies have cited the objection of private villages and subdivisions to the installation of cell sites as a stumbling block in the roll out of the much needed infrastructure aimed at improving internet speed and mobile connectivity in the country. Most of the time, he said homeowners associations oppose the deployment of cell sites in their villages and subdivisions due to perceived health risk and aesthetic reasons. However, homeowners are also the first ones to complain of lack of connectivity and poor quality of service from the telcos, he said. To correct this, Yap through HB 366 proposed to amend PD 957, as amended by PD 1216, so that approval of the homeowners’ associations would no longer be required in the use of utility space for telecom infrastructure, facilities and amenities. Utility space would mean “an area reserved exclusively for utilities such as water, power and telecommunications.” Moreover, the subdivision developer would allocate adequate utility space for telecom infrastructure and facilities and amenities. The design, location, and premier distance of these facilities should conform to the standards, guidelines, rules and regulations of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Department of Health, and the National Building Code.