TACLOBAN CITY – In line with efforts to providing superior public service, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) is eyeing a new location in Leyte to boost its presence in the Eastern Visayas region.

On Wednesday, Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla at the Viewdeck in McArthur Park for the construction of DHSUD’s Regional Office 8 (DHSUD-8) building inside the Government Center in Palo, Leyte.

“This activity is part of DHSUD’s efforts in establishing a strong foundation within its regional level and intensifying the provision of sustainable housing programs for all Filipinos,” the housing czar said.

“DHSUD remains adamant on fulfilling the dreams of 81% of Filipinos who wish to have a house of their own,” Secretary Del Rosario added, stating that shelter is a right of every Filipino family.

The Government Center in Leyte hosts several other regional branches of government agencies, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, National Economic Development Authority, among others.

While awaiting the completion of its new office building, DHSUD-8 moved to a new address at the IP Building, Maharlika Highway, Caibaan, in Tacloban City. Secretary Del Rosario graced its blessing which was also held on Wednesday.

The housing czar is currently on a three-day official visit in Eastern Visayas as part of his commitment to further engage local government units in carrying out DHSUD’s mandate of providing more resilient, sustainable and affordable housing communities to Filipinos, especially the underprivileged.

It is also in line with the department’s commitment to extend its reach at the regional level meant to enhance the delivery of quality service to members of the general public.

DHSUD currently has 16 regional offices nationwide, up from the previous nine in 2020, to better cater to the housing needs of Filipinos, particularly those from low-income groups.

In January, Secretary Del Rosario led the inauguration of DHSUD’s first regional office building in Pampanga.

While in Leyte, he called on DHSUD-8 personnel to continue exerting efforts in raising the standards of public service delivery.

“We should step up the ease of doing business process in securing housing permits and licenses in our department,” the housing czar said. “The accreditation and license to sell could prevent the developer from building a substandard housing project,” he noted.

DHSUD is currently finalizing its 20-year housing and urban development strategic plan and roadmap, set to be completed this year, which aims to provide adequate and affordable housing units for all Filipinos.

Secretary Del Rosario had insisted that the national housing strategic plan will ensure that no substandard housing project will be built. Apart from this, DHSUD is likewise keen on eliminating illegal transactions on the issuance of licenses and permits.

Together with relevant government agencies, the department has also intensified campaign against real estate scammers, including unscrupulous developers, brokers, and agents engaged in the illegal selling of real estate properties. (30)— CVC