MANILA -- Re-electionist senator Joseph Victor Ejercito on Tuesday said the new Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) could help better address the housing problems of the country, specifically the ballooning housing backlog and the increasing number of informal settlers at risk.
In a statement, Ejercito said with the creation of the DHSUD, there will now be one housing department at the helm of the housing program of the government that will create the roadmap for housing and urban development, lead in its implementation, set the general direction, and monitor each and every project with clear policies.
Ejercito, principal sponsor and author of the measure, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law the creation of the human settlements department.
"Ang DHSUD ang katuparan ng pangarap ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino na walang tirahan na magkaroon ng disente at maayos na tahanan dahil ang ahensiyang ito ang magtitiyak ng mabilis at maayos na implementasyon ng programang pabahay ng pamahalaan," Ejercito said.
Ejercito said the DHSUD will consolidate the administrative function of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the planning and regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.
He said the department will act as the sole and main planning and policy-making, regulatory, program coordination, and performance monitoring entity for all housing and urban development concerns, primarily focusing on the access to and affordability of decent and secure shelter.
Under Republic Act No. 11201 signed by Duterte on Feb. 14, the new department will be responsible for establishing Housing One-Stop Processing Centers (HOPCs) in the regions to centralize the processing of housing-related documents.
The law cited the need for underprivileged and homeless Filipinos to have access to safe and affordable housing.
"The State shall, by law and for the common good, undertake, in cooperation with the private sector, a continuing program of housing and urban development which shall make available at affordable cost, decent housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlement areas," the law reads.
"The State shall ensure that poor dwellers in urban and rural areas shall not be evicted nor their dwelling demolished, except in accordance with law," it added.
Source: Philippines News Agency