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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

House OKs bill creating Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development
14 February 2018 01:27:31 AM

The House of Representatives, voting 193-6 without abstention, approved on third and final reading on Tuesday House Bill 6775 seeking to create a Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development which would address the basic housing needs and requirements of Filipino families.

The bill aims to provide Filipino families easy access to decent and affordable homes.

The proposed department shall consolidate the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

It shall act as the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing, human settlements and urban development.

As mandated under the bill, the department shall be the sole and main planning and policy-making, regulatory, program coordination, and performance monitoring entity for all housing, human settlement and urban development concerns, primarily focusing on access to and affordability of basic human needs.

It shall develop and adopt a national strategy to immediately address the provision of adequate and affordable housing to all Filipinos and to ensure the alignment of the policies, programs, and projects of all its attached agencies to facilitate the achievement of this objective.

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development shall be headed by a Secretary and assisted by four Undersecretaries and four Assistant Secretaries to be appointed by the President.

It shall exercise administrative supervision over the following agencies which shall remain to be attached for purposes of policy and program coordination, monitoring and evaluation: National Housing Authority (NHA); Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC); National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC); Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF); and Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC).

It shall also establish SHOPCs or Socialized Housing One-Stop Processing Centers in the regions which shall centralize the processing and issuance of all required housing-related permits, clearances, and licenses in accordance with Executive Order No. 45, series of 2001 entitled “Prescribing Time Periods for Issuance of Housing related Certifications, Clearances and Permits, and Imposing Sanctions for Failure to Observe the Same.”

The bill seeks the reconstitution of the HLURB as the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission (HSAC) and its adjudication function shall be transferred to HSAC. It shall be attached to the proposed department as its adjudicatory body.

The bill refers to “Human Settlements” as the integrative concept that is comprised of (a) physical components of shelter and infrastructure; and (b) community services to which the physical elements provide support, such as education, health, culture, welfare, recreation, food and nutrition.

It describes “Urban Development” as the process of occupation and use of land or space for such activities as residential, industrial, commercial, and the like or their combinations, necessary to carry out the functions of urban living. It entails the building or rebuilding or more or less permanent structures over land that is often withdrawn or converted from its original use, resulting in the creation of a built environment.

According to the authors of the bill, the creation of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development will be a step towards providing decent and affordable housing to every Filipino family at the soonest possible time and in the least cumbersome manner as mandated under the 1987 Constitution.

According to them, the country needs to develop a holistic approach to the housing sector, as decent, affordable housing is one of the people’s most basic of needs but unfortunately, rarely cheap and mostly unavailable.

At present, there is an estimated housing backlog of around three to four million housing units in the country. While there is a huge housing backlog, it is ironic that there are government housing units that remain unoccupied to this day, according to the lawmakers.

The bill is authored by Reps. Jose Christopher Belmonte, Winston Castelo, Rozzano Rufino Biazon, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Reps. Yedda Marie Romualdez, John Marvin Nieto, Michael Romero, Tomasito Villarin, Cristal Bagatsing, Deputy Speakers Linabelle Ruth Villarica and Raneo Abu, Reps. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Manuel Jose Dalipe, Christopher De Venecia, Eric Olivarez, Estrellita Suansing, Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, Gabriel Bordado Jr., Jesulito Manalo, Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Ricardo Belmonte, Jr., Xavier Jesus Romualdo, Alfredo Benitez, Karlo Alexei Nograles, Virgilio Lacson, Ron Salo, Aniceto Bertiz III, Joseph Stephen Paduano, Edgar Mary Sarmiento, Enrico Pineda, Ma. Lucille Nava, Wilter Wee Palma II, Teodoro Montoro, Evelina Escudero, Mark Go, Sherwin Tugna, Scott Davies Lanete, Ann Hofer, Jose Tejada, Leopoldo Bataoil, Len Alonte-Naguiat, Angelina Tan and Dennis Laogan. | MVIP