Quezon City – The vital role of cooperation between the national government and local government units (LGUs) in successfully closing the housing gap was once again emphasized during the groundbreaking ceremony and memorandum signing between the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the Quezon City government on Thursday.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar and Quezon City Mayor Ma. Josefina Belmonte signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the housing project that will soon rise in Harmony Hills Terraces in Barangay Batasan Hills. The signing, immediately followed by a groundbreaking ceremony, was witnessed by key officials of the DHSUD’s key shelter agencies (KSAs) and representatives from the LGU.

“Mahalaga po ang kooperasyon ng bawat isa para makamtan natin ang ginhawa na pinapangako ng proyektong ito. Umaasa po kami, sa DHSUD, na magiging kasangga namin kayo simula ngayon hanggang sa kahuli-hulihang bubong na ating ipagkakaloob para masiguro na may bahay ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” Secretary Acuzar said, referring to the Pambansang Pabahay Para Sa Pilipino: Zero ISF Program for 2028 of the current administration.

The said program, a brainchild of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., aims to build one million housing units per year or a total of six million housing units in the six years.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be the President’s emissary in sending this good news to our kababayans here in Quezon City, and in the country as a whole – unti-unti na pong matutupad ang pangarap ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino na nagnanais magkaroon ng sariling bahay sa pamamagitan po ng Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program,” the Secretary related.

For its part, the Quezon City LGU, in support of the said program, committed to allocate to the DHSUD a parcel of its land for the development of the foregoing housing project.

“The MOU signing solidified our previous agreement to work hand-in-hand in building houses for the city’s residents, especially the ISFs (informal settler families),” said Mayor Belmonte, adding that through this agreement they “hope to build many housing projects that will benefit Quezon City residents, especially those who cannot afford a home they can call their own.”

The MOU mandates the DHSUD to facilitate, either directly or through its KSAs, the implementation of the housing projects in collaboration with the LGU and other relevant agencies. Meanwhile, the Quezon City LGU is tasked to expedite the processing of required permits and licenses to be issued by local authorities for the project’s full implementation. It will also carry out the beneficiary listing which will include social preparation, ISF census enumeration, socioeconomic profiling and the establishment of social parameters.

Secretary Acuzar likewise enjoined other partners in LGUs, private sector and concerned government institutions to help the DHSUD in fulfilling the administration’s priority housing program, saying, “Admittedly, we need the help of everyone…kasama po kayo sa mga haligi ng tagumpay nito.”

Aside from the collaboration with the Quezon City LGU, the DHSUD also secured during the same event a partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). The DHSUD and DBP signed an MOU mandating the financial institution to formulate a loan program focused on providing real estate developmental loans in support of the agency’s housing projects, while the DHSUD is directed to identify project funding requirements where the participation of DBP is crucial and assist it in the preparation of necessary documents for the implementation of the formulated lending program. — KCM