Sec Del Rosario
DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario reiterates that the department, along with its key shelter agencies, remains committed in providing Filipinos, especially the underprivileged, sustainable, resilient and more affordable housing units under the BALAI program. (File Photo by Christian V. Cabajar/DHSUD)

QUEZON CITY – Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario highlighted the government’s strategies aimed at keeping the vibrancy  in the housing sector amid pandemic.

As keynote speaker during an online forum dubbed PH Housing Outlook “Fostering Urban Development” hosted by a broadsheet, Secretary Del Rosario outlined the department’s measures meant to fast-track the implementation of the government’s national housing program despite the adverse impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The housing czar described the real estate sector as an economic pump-primer, stressing that the industry remains resilient amidst the contagion. 

Secretary Del Rosario likewise noted that Filipinos, especially the underprivileged, are entitled to the right to adequate housing which is recognized by the international law.

According to Secretary Del Rosario, one of DHSUD’s main tasks is to bridge the country’s housing gap projected at 6.57 million units by 2022.

 He said that the department and its key shelter agencies (KSAs) are united in achieving the government’s goal of providing Filipinos, especially the informal settler families, safer, sustainable and more affordable homes under the BALAI (Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable and Inclusive) program.

“The Housing Agencies recognize shelter as a right of every Filipino family as a component of the right to adequate standard of living. It is the obligation of the state, or the DHSUD in particular, to respect, protect and fulfill the right of the ISFs and low-income group to develop resilient and sustainable communities,” Secretary Del Rosario stressed.

The housing czar also noted in his message that the government expects tens of thousands of ISFs to be relocated on the back of its Build, Build, Build program meant to bolster the country’s infrastructure projects. 

He said projects under the scheme will pave the way for investment opportunities in the housing and real estate development especially for investors with liquidity.

“The construction of housing and real estate development projects that will support these infrastructure projects will redound to the economy given that housing is labor intensive and directly stimulates about 80 allied industries,” Secretary Del Rosario stated.

He reiterated that the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the urgency to address the growing need for adequate housing, as well as proper health measures aimed at preventing the spread of diseases and future pandemics in highly dense communities.

“This pandemic highlighted the need to enhance the quality of living conditions among vulnerable households, especially those in highly dense communities. It likewise emphasized the necessity to improve housing affordability on the back of the increased unemployment and loss of livelihood, as well as rising production cost brought about by strict health protocols,” the housing czar noted.

The DHSUD, along with the KSAs and partner-developers, had prepared the blueprint for the housing sector’s future, according to Secretary Del Rosario, noting that they remain pro-active in institutionalizing medium and long-term strategies.

He said that the department will continue cementing stronger ties with stakeholders in pursuing its goal of establishing safe, resilient and sustainable communities for low-income Filipinos. (30)