HOUSING ROADMAP: DHSUD Secretary Eduardo D. Del Rosario believes that the department’s 20-year housing roadmap is key to ensuring the future of the country’s housing sector.

QUEZON CITY – Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario believes that a national housing roadmap now being finalized by DHSUD is vital in ensuring continuity of pro-active plans and programs in the housing sector.

Secretary Del Rosario cited the importance of having a housing “blue print” in addressing the housing need in the country and, at the same time, shaping a brighter future for the housing industry.

DHSUD is now in the midst of finalizing a 20-year housing strategic plan which is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2021 and will cover up to 2040 – hence, it is aligned with the AmBisyon Natin 2040 of the National Economic Development Authority.

According to Secretary Del Rosario, having a housing roadmap will institutionalize the plans and programs crafted by DHSUD in close collaboration with all stakeholders, particularly the housing developers.

“Mahirap na walang roadmap, ang mangyayari after ng administration ni President (Rodrigo) Duterte, mawawalan ng continuity since when a new administration comes in, it’s not a sure thing kung itutuloy ‘yung mga ginagawa at gagawin pang mga  programa,” the housing czar stressed.

“We are hoping that with the 20-year strategic roadmap, magkakaroon ng continuity ang housing especially now that we have a department,” he noted.

It will be recalled that DHSUD was created by virtue of Republic Act 11201 signed by President Duterte on 14 February 2019 and started full operation in January 2020.

“Despite some birth pains, we have started laying solid foundations for the future of housing in our country,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

He stressed that the ongoing and future programs of DHSUD embodied in the roadmap are focused on providing not just decent, livable and affordable housing units, but more importantly, resilient and sustainable communities for the “poorest of the poor” and those residing along danger zones or properties owned by either the government or private entities.

The roadmap, he said, is about capacitating and providing opportunities to all Filipino families to own a house of their own.

Secretary Del Rosario said that DHSUD is bent on further strengthening its coordination with local government units, especially with regard to land development to pave the way for housing projects meant for informal settler families.

He said that his experience as former administrator of the Office of Civil Defense provides him better grasp in leading the government’s housing portfolio.

“Alam ko na marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nakatira sa danger zones, so tamang-tama na ‘yung background ko with the Office of Civil Defense and now with the department (DHSUD),” the housing czar said.

“Mapagtatahi-tahi ko ‘yan and we are now looking for the necessary data so that people living in highly susceptible areas, especially to flooding and landslides, will be given first priority by the national government in providing them with better resettlement,” Secretary Del Rosario noted, adding that those residing in danger zones will be relocated to safer grounds with the active participation of LGUs.

Secretary Del Rosario likewise highlighted the importance of housing as an economic pump-primer, especially now that the country is still recovering from the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. According to the DHSUD chief, housing serves as an economic trigger since 80 aligned industries could be stimulated just by building a single house.

“Kaya nga sabi natin dito (housing) ang pinakamabilis na economic trigger in terms employment, as well as trigger the activities of other sectors,” the DHSUD chief stated, citing that more than 55,000 workers returned to work and 400,000 housing units continued construction after the resumption of real estate activities last June 2019 following the easing up of community quarantine. (30)