Sen. Ejercito wants creation of a ‘housing department’

MANILA  (PNA) – Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Tuesday stressed the importance of setting up a “housing department” to monitor all housing and urban development concerns.

Speaking before members of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) in Pasay City, Ejercito said the department will be tasked to consolidate, rationalize and coordinate the functions and powers of all housing-related agencies.

These include the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. (NHMFC), Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), and the National Housing Authority (NHA).

“The creation of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development would be able to address these concerns for faster facilitation and response of housing needs,” Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, said in his speech.

Meanwhile, he expressed his desire to pass and implement the On-site, In-City or Near-City Resettlement Act for the benefit of at least 1.5 million informal settlers in the country.

Under the act, the government will provide a sustainable and viable resettlement program within cities, and no longer at remote places, to provide informal settler families employment and access to transportation.

If San Juan, where he was former mayor, was able to carry out the in-city housing relocation, surely, the other 16 cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region could accomplish the same feat, he said.

In closing, Ejercito urged the ECCP to share its technical expertise and support to address housing issues, which are the “concern of most Filipinos longing for decent and affordable housing in Metro Manila.”

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