DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario cites the need for synergy between the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as with the private sector, in addressing the country’s housing needs during the “Building Better Homes, Living Sustainable Lives” forum hosted by the City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, on Wednesday. House Speaker Hon. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, House Committee on Housing and Urban Development Chairperson Hon. Francisco Benitez, his vice-chair, SJDM Lone District Rep. Florida Robes and SJDM Mayor Arthur Robes also graced the key event. (DHSUD)

CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan – Close coordination between the government and private sector can definitely bolster efforts in addressing the country’s housing need.

Thus, stressed Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario during the “Building Better Homes, Living Sustainable Lives” forum hosted by the City of San Jose Del Monte on Wednesday afternoon.

In his message, the housing czar cited the need for support from other government agencies particularly the legislative branch as well as private stakeholders for the department to fulfil its mandate of delivering more decent, sustainable and affordable housing communities to Filipinos, especially the underprivileged.

“As the primary housing and urban development agency, it is also our duty and mandate to ensure that every human settlement in the country meets or even exceed the ideal sustainable neighborhood as embodied in the Comprehensive Land Use and Local Shelter Plan of all LGUs nation-wide,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

“This is a very timely opportunity to exchange and validate our ideas in addressing recurring concerns in the housing sector. Needless to say, DHSUD inevitably requires the support of all partners not only the private sectors as I’ve been advocating, but equally important from the legislative and executive branches of the government to enable us to fulfil our functions and exceed expectations in delivering quality products and services to our stakeholders and beneficiaries,” he added.

Secretary Del Rosario also noted the need for DHSUD to be allotted with enough funds to better carry out its functions. He expressed optimism over ongoing deliberations regarding the Housing Financing Act and hope that the bill will be approved soon.

Wednesday’s forum was meant to synchronize public and private efforts in addressing housing-related woes nation-wide, as well as to tap fully the potential of the housing and urban development sector as economic pump primer.

House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco was the event’s guest of honor. In his message, the House Speaker stressed the importance for every Filipino family to have a house of their own especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Para sa nakararaming Pilipino, ang bahay ang unang pinag-iipunan o investment kahit maliit o simple, iba ang dulot na seguridad ng pagkakaroon ng bahay na matatatawag nating sariling atin,” Velasco said. “Ang urbanisasyon ay magandang panukala sa paglago ng ekonomiya. Ngunit hindi magkakaroon ng ganap na pag-unlad kung mayroon tayong maiiwanan na mga mamamayan na wala man lang disenteng bahay,” he added.

Velasco likewise pledged that Congress will continue supporting the housing and urban development sector. “Ngayong 18th Congress, prayoridad natin ang on-site, in-city, near-city local government resettlement program. Pinag-aaralan po natin ang pagbubuo ng mga maaayos na pabahay sa konteksto ng komunidad.”

Also in attendance were House Committee on Housing and Urban Development Chairperson Rep. Francisco Benitez, his vice chair Rep. Rida Robes, Bulacan Gov. Daniel Fernando, SJDM Mayor Arthur Robes and NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr.

“Housing production under President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s administration has been the highest since the period of President (Ferdinand) Marcos,” Benitez noted, lauding the efforts of Secretary Del Rosario and Escalada in bridging the country’s housing production gap. (30) — CVC