DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario takes his oath as chairman of the National Human Settlements Board during the NHSB’s inaugural meeting on Thursday. – (CVC/DHSUD)

QUEZON CITY – Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario on Thursday spearheaded the National Human Settlements Board’s (NHSB) inaugural meeting with focus on addressing the country’s housing concerns.

In his message, Secretary Del Rosario, who chairs the NHSB, reiterated DHSUD’s commitment to fulfilling its mandate of providing sustainable, resilient and affordable housing units to Filipinos, especially to the underprivileged, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“After more than a year since the promulgation of the DHSUC Act, we reached another milestone in our journey — the formal establishment of the NHSB,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

“We are given a challenging task of providing overall policy direction and program development guidance to our attached corporations and agencies in managing housing and urban development in the entire country,” the housing czar stressed.

He added “as we pursue this endeavor and adopt to the requirements of the New Normal, I would like to request your support and cooperation so we can achieve synergy as we seek to ensure alignment and policies to our new programs.”

Senator Francis Tolentino, who chairs the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, also graced the key forum as Guest Speaker.

In his message, Senator Tolentino stated that shelter is one of man’s basic needs, especially now that the country is facing a contagion.

“Shelter is very essential to human survival as water and food, thus the need to establish a decent housing for the people is an imperative for the government to fulfil,” Senator Tolentino said. “In the fulfilment of this crucial goal, the DHSUD plays an indispensable role in collaborating with the national government and other stakeholders even the private sector,” he added.

Also in attendance were Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano, National Economic Development Authority Secretary Karl Chua, Department of Finance Undersecretary Grace Karen Singson, Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Janet Abuel and Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Eduardo Ramos among others.

Highlighting the inaugural NHSB meeting was the oath-taking of the officials and members administered by Senator Tolentino.
Part of DHSUD’s mandate under Republic Act 11201 is to develop and adopt a national strategy to immediately address the provision of adequate and affordable housing to all Filipinos, as well as ensure the alignment of policies, programs, and projects of its attached agencies to facilitate the achievement of this objective.

The NHSB acts as the single policy-making body and provide overall policy direction and program development to the department’s attached agencies.

Secretary Del Rosario has been pushing for close collaboration with stakeholders in the housing sector, stating that cementing close ties plays a crucial role in achieving sustainable and resilient human settlements and urban development.

The DHSUD is currently crafting a 20-year national housing roadmap anchored on the department’s flagship BALAI or Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable and Inclusive Filipino Communities program. (30)