MANILA Senator Francis Tolentino on Monday urged the government to fast-track the formation of the new Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD).
Tolentino, chair of the Senate urban planning, housing and resettlement committee, made the call as he led the organizational meeting of key shelter agencies to discuss policies and strategies that will help address current housing issues, particularly the huge housing backlog in the country.
Hindi biro ang pag-buo ng isang bagong ahensya ng gobyerno, syempre kailangan din natin masiguro na makatao at tama ang mga polisiya na kanilang gagawin para masigurong maibibigay ang pangangailangan ng taong bayan (Creating a new government agency is a serious matter. Of course, we need to ensure that the policies they will craft are good and humane in order to meet the needs of the Filipino people), Tolentino said.
The senator called on the Department of Budget and Management and Civil Service Commission to speed up all transactions leading to the formation of the new department, particularly the budget allocation.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11201 creating the DHSUD on Feb. 14, 2019.
The law consolidates the administrative functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, and the regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
The department shall act as the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing, human settlement, and urban development, and be the sole and main planning and policy-making, regulatory, program coordination, and performance monitoring body for all housing, human settlement, and urban development concerns.
Mataas ang expectations ng publiko sa Department of Human Settlements, eh ang baba pala ng budget, mas mababa pa noong 2018, 2019 (Public expectations regarding the Department of Human Settlements are high, but its budget is meagereven lower compared to 2018, 2019)," Tolentino said.
"So DBM will be sending a written explanation concerning this, we have to assist the newly created department. Be proactive, kasi bihira lang na makapagtayo tayo ng bagong Department (because establishing a new department happens only once in a while)," he added.
Tolentino also cited the need to further study the impact of unifying housing agencies to create a single policy-making body, especially the effect it can have on employees presently manning existing government shelter agencies.
Another emerging issue to consider is the welfare of the employees who might get affected by the consolidation of agencies. May mga matatanggal ba? Saan sila dapat ma-transfer kung sakali? (Are there employees who will lose their jobs? Where will they be transferred if that happens?) he added.
He promised to assist the formation of the new housing department to ensure that its mandate will be carried out efficiently as provided in the law. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency