QUEZON CITY—Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario on Wednesday pushed for the construction of on-base temporary shelters for public school teachers, particularly in the far-flung areas, to address issue of tutors spending so much time and money just to go to their teaching posts.

Secretary Del Rosario made the proposal during a Senate hearing via video conference presided over by Sen. Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Development, regarding Senate bills 660 and 934 calling for housing program for public school teachers.

Apart from addressing the issue of additional expenses to teachers, the DHSUD chief stressed that the on-base temporary shelters for teachers can also provide security as they are located within the campuses or nearby areas.

“For living quarters for public school teachers, I think what we should do is to push for the construction of temporary housing facilities in remote areas,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

“Just like the construction of their classrooms, the living facilities should be integrated in the budget of DepEd (Department of Education). So in that way, it will be permanent, it will be from DepEd, and it will not require resources by other agencies. If I may suggest Mr. Chairman,” he added.

The DHSUD chief further said “this will resolve everything else: security, transportation of the teachers because the living quarters will be constructed inside the campus of DepEd schools.”

Secretary Del Rosario vowed the DHSUD’s full support to the Senate’s move in passing measures meant to address housing concerns of public school teachers. He cited that the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund has been very active in financing housing loans of public school teachers.

In fact, Secretary Del Rosario said that in 2018, 39.43 percent of the 11,269 housing loans intended for government employees, or equivalent to 4,444 units, are actually from public school teachers and other DepEd personnel. He said the loan amounted to P4 billion.

DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali expressed support to the proposed on-base temporary shelter for teachers provided there are available spaces. (30)