DHSUD optimistic on sustainability of BBM’s ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ as it promotes unity

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) is optimistic about the sustainability of President Marcos’ “Pambansang Pabahay Para Sa Pilipino Program” as it espouses unity among all stakeholders in the housing sector.

DHSUD secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said the national housing program has social and economic ripples even as early as its initial stage of implementation.

“We are humbled by the immediate effect that the Pambansang Pabahay is bringing into our midst. Through the program, stakeholders are coming together toward a common goal of not just building houses but also promoting sustainability through township development,” Secretary Acuzar said.

IN-CITY SETTLEMENTS. DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar and Quezon City Mayor Ma. Josefina Belmonte sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the Harmony Hills Terraces Housing Project that will soon rise in Barangay Batasan Hills. The signing was immediately followed by a groundbreaking ceremony.

Pambansang Pabahay aims to address the country’s housing backlog pegged at more than 6.5 million units by building one million houses a year in the next six years. It prioritizes in-city settlements to ensure that home dwellers will remain close to their sources of livelihood.

“I acknowledge that our target is bold yet achievable because we are not doing it alone. From the time we started, I am very delighted with the outpouring of support that we are getting from our stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. It gives us the confidence that we are on the right track,” the country’s housing czar said.

The use of idle government land

Secretary Acuzar cited some developments that he said would boost the program’s implementation, including President Marcos’ impending executive order on the use of idle government land for housing.

DHSUD has been tapping the support of all stakeholders, including the national and local government, government financial institutions (GFIs), the private sector, particularly developers and commercial banks, and the beneficiaries.

HOUSING FOR ISFs. At least 4,000 informal settler families stand to benefit from a housing project in Tanauan City under PBBM’s Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program. DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar and Mayor Nelson Collantes lead the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and groundbreaking ceremony in Barangay Sambat, Tanauan City.

As of December 7, the Department has sealed 28 Memoranda of Understanding with local government units, 11 of which have already broken ground to commence their respective housing projects.

It has also engaged GFIs and private banks to provide funding support and technical assistance toward realizing the capital and loan requirements of the program.

DHSUD’s key shelter agency, the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, has allocated a P250-billion loan for the Pambansang Pabahay.

“We recognize the limitations of the government in financial resources. Hence, we strongly promote public-private partnerships in this program. All related government institutions as well as the different private entities must come together,” Secretary Acuzar said.

NEW TOWNSHIP. The DHSUD and Bataan provincial government seal a partnership and broke ground for the One Bataan Village which would pave the way for modern township projects in the province’s four towns.

“This program is inclusive. It is for all, especially those who have less in life,” he added.

Through constant consultations, private developer groups have also reassured DHSUD of their steadfast support for the housing program.

“We share a mutual goal of providing decent shelters with township developments that will bring economic and social growth to communities. This kind of backing from the private sector is needed to fulfill the requirements and reinforce the implementation of government projects,” the housing chief also said.

The program has also secured the backing of both the Senate and the House of Representatives for funding and policy support. The DHSUD is seeking an annual P36-billion support to roll out the program.

“This is the unity that our President is asking for – coming together to achieve a sustainable future for our less fortunate countrymen,” Secretary Acuzar said.