By: Eduardo D. Del Rosario@inquirerdotnet

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 3:15 AM February 13, 2021

For us at the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), tomorrow is not only Valentine’s Day but also our second anniversary. Since the hearts’ day is a Sunday, we will be having our simple but meaningful three-day celebration starting Monday.

Celebration highlights

The first of these three days can be aptly called “DHSUD Family Affair” since we will be having a get together at our central office with the heads of our key shelter and attached agencies namely the National Housing Authority (NHA), Home Development Mutual Fund, the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. (NHMFC), the Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC) and the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission (HSAC).

We expect our KSAs and the HSAC to present their accomplishments for 2020 and more importantly, their plans and programs for this year to better serve the public.

Another highlight of Day 1 will be the opening of a week-long exhibit at our main lobby, which includes booths from our KSAs and our partner-developers showcasing the latest trends in housing and real estate industry.

In adherence to our policy of close engagements with all stakeholders, Day 2 will highlight our strong partnerships with developers, homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and other members of the private sector.

We will also sign a Memorandum of Agreement with Alpha3 Technologies for the provision of free information technology infrastructure to government housing projects, aimed at offering more options for internet service, which has become a basic necessity for schooling and even livelihood amid the continuing quarantines.

Immediately after the MOA signing, I will administer oath to the new officers of the Organization of Socialized and Economic Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP) and a confederation of HOAs in Southern Tagalog Region.

Day 3 will start our month-long webinar series meant to inform and educate the general public as well as our partner-developers, brokers, agents, planners and HOAs on the latest guidelines and other pertinent issuances from the department. We will be publishing on our social media pages our calendar of activities to keep you updated and provide instructions on how you can participate in the webinar series. Our regional offices will also have their own webinars in their respective jurisdictions.

Sustaining gains

Going back to Valentine’s Day, President Duterte’s signing of Republic Act No. 11201, which created DHSUD on Feb. 14, 2019, was a clear testament of his love for ordinary Filipinos longing to have their dream homes.

Mandated to provide decent, affordable and resilient homes to the underprivileged, DHSUD hit the ground running during its first year of full operations in 2020 despite the limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was able to sustain the production and financing of housing units while focusing on the importance of urban planning and innovating with new housing program modalities.

Just like a toddler advancing from infancy, the DHSUD took every step seriously—from reviewing existing policies and rules governing the housing and real estate sectors to crafting new ones, strengthening housing finance and improving designs in order to cope with the current and future challenges as highlighted by the pandemic as well as climate change.

We chose to be pro-active in all aspects and we intend to sustain the gains by doubling our efforts. I urge Team DHSUD to strive harder to deliver only the best service to all Filipinos, especially to the underprivileged, guided by our principle that shelter is a right and homeownership is an option, and it is our responsibility to capacitate and provide opportunities for those who dream to own a house of their own.

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Team DHSUD!

This article is first published in Philippine Daily Inquirer