Housing dep’t bill nears Senate, DU30 okay

Rodrigo R. Duterte
Rodrigo R. Duterte

THE bill creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) awaits Senate ratification and signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Before the session break on Wednesday, the House of Representatives ratified the bicameral committee report for the creation of a Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The principal author and sponsor, Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, said that the department will be a regular government agency tasked to rationalize and coordinate the functions and powers of various housing agencies of the state.

Prior to ratification the House and Senate consolidated the two versions of the DHUD measure.

Benitez and Sen. JV Ejercito co-chaired the bicameral panel, being chairmen of the Committee on Housing and Urban Development of their respective chambers.

The Senate failed to ratify it.

Benitez said the proposed DHUD will not only help address the huge housing backlog in the country but will also “focus on building communities and habitats in both rural and urban areas”

The bill will merge the functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

Benitez noted that the approval of the measure in Congress came after nearly three decades of numerous attempts to establish the department. 

The first bill was filed in 1989.

“The consolidated version of the bill reflects the best and most acceptable legislative proposal as it contained recommendations made by various housing stakeholders during the year-long 2015 National Housing Summit,” Benitez said.

The DHUD proposal defines the functions of the proposed department that would include the formulation, development and coordination of housing and urban development policies, finance and production and public housing.

The DHUD will be headed by a secretary who will be appointed by the president as member of the Cabinet.

Three undersecretaries and three assistant secretaries will also be appointed upon the recommendation of the secretary.

Attached to the DHUD are the following existing government corporations: National Housing Authority; Home Guarantee Corporation, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, Home Development Mutual Fund and Social Housing Finance Corporation.