Secretary Acuzar vows to work ‘five times’ harder after CA confirmation

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar has vowed to work “five times” harder to address the country’s housing problems following his confirmation by the powerful Commission on Appointments on Wednesday.

“The challenge to close the housing gap is daunting building one million housing units per year. Most find this ambitious, five times the average of previous administrations, but this is possible as long as we unite and work together,” Secretary Acuzar said.

“Five times the average—I also commit to work five times harder to achieve this,” he added.

Secretary Acuzar noted that the highest average of annual housing production by previous administrations was pegged at 200,000—hence, meeting the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program target of one million a year is five times the record.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista pose with Commission on Appointments members, including Senator Bong Go, after the plenary deliberations on Wednesday.

The Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program is the flagship housing program of President Ferdinand Marcos designed to finally bridge the country’s housing gap estimated to reach more than 6.5 million units by the year end.

The housing czar assured Filipinos he will do all that he can to ensure the housing sector’s best service for the Filipino people.

“This is a huge responsibility entrusted to us by the President, the CA and the Filipino people and I vow to do all that I can to usher the flagship housing program to success, first and foremost, to ensure that all our kababayans will have decent yet affordable homes of their own,” Secretary Acuzar said.

A staunch advocate of the housing sector, Senator JV Ejercito congratulates DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar after the latter’s confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

In less than an hour of deliberation on Tuesday, Secretary Acuzar’s nomination was confirmed by the CA panel headed by Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito. It was the fastest confirmation by the 19th Congress, according to Camaries Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte (2nd District).

The 12-man House of Representatives contingent, led by Villafuerte, waived questioning during the straightforward confirmation proceedings and expressed full support to Secretary Acuzar.

On Wednesday, Secretary Acuzar’s ad interim appointment was confirmed before the Senate plenary.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful to all the members of the Commission on Appointments for trusting me to lead the housing sector,” he said.

“I am grateful and honored for President Marcos’s trust and confidence,” he added.

Since assuming the DHSUD top post five months ago, Secretary Acuzar has been unrelenting in his efforts to address the housing gap by building one million houses per year for the next six years through PBBM’s Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program.

So far, around 30 local government units have already signed up to join the program while more than a dozen others have already broken ground –signalling the start of their respective housing projects.