The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) are eyeing a unity team or “UniTeam” in furtherance of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s priority housing program.

During a meeting with key DHSUD officials on Monday, GSIS President and General Manager Jose Arnulfo Veloso vowed the state-controlled corporation’s readiness to partake in the Marcos administration’s housing program.

“We’re in,” said Veloso, expressing the government-owned and -controlled corporation’s (GOCC) desire to take part in the DHSUD’s thrust to address the two main challenges in the housing sector — affordability and access to funds.

“If this serves the Filipinos and if this is for the ultimate development of the country, then you can expect our one-hundred-percent support. In fact, just like the electoral alliance of President Bongbong and Vice President Sara [Duterte], let us become a ‘UniTeam’,” Veloso said.

For his part, DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar welcomed GSIS’s positive response to the call and its commitment to support the Marcos administration’s housing thrust.

“Our goal is to form a team that will fully support President Marcos’ goal to close the housing gap in the Philippines,” Secretary Acuzar said, adding: “Tutulungan natin, lalo na ang ating mga kapwa Pilipinong naghihirap, na magkaroon ng sariling tahanan na kanilang maipagmamalaki (We will help our poor countrymen in acquiring their own homes which they can be proud of).”

The Housing czar likewise stressed the potential of government financial institutions (GFIs) and other commercial organizations in becoming the fundamental pillars in the new administration’s housing program.

It can be recalled that Secretary Acuzar previously met with the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines to also enjoin them in promoting the Marcos administration’s housing program designed to address the country’s 6.5-million housing backlog.

Both LBP and DBP officials have expressed support to the national housing program. 

Created by virtue of Commonwealth Act 186 and Republic Act 8291, the GSIS is a GOCC providing life insurance, retirement and disability benefits, among an array of social security benefits to its members mainly composed of government employees.

Meanwhile, DHSUD and the GFIs are expected to soon hold a meeting while a memorandum of understanding is underway once its terms and conditions, among other prerequisites, have been finalized. — KCM