‘Pambansang Pabahay’ to boost PH sustainability goals

Crafted to curb the country’s housing woes, President Marcos Jr.’s Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) program is a significant boost to the Philippine’s overall goals on sustainable development, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) said.

In a statement, DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar explained the relevance of the 4PH Program, particularly on maintaining economic growth rate and creating more resilient jobs, as targeted in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.

“As we pursue the mission to build and dispense one million housing units per year, we are also espousing township developments that will ensure sustainable co-existence of all elements and players in a housing community,” Secretary Acuzar said.

Inclusive, safe and resilient

The PDP 2023-2028 explicitly states the establishment of livable communities as among its key transformation strategies under the social and urban development sector, “by upgrading and planning human settlements such that an integrated use of space will bring people closer to work, recreation and transit options.”

This is anchored on the country’s commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 11, which is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. inaugurates the Palayan City Township Housing Project in Brgy. Atate, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija. The 11-hectare project features amenities and infrastructure that will facilitate social and economic development in the area. With the President were DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar and other local and national government officials.

The 4PH Program pursues innovative strategies to maximize the use of land resources, particularly underutilized government and private-owned lands for housing and mixed-use development.

“We give weight to the fact that the country’s population growth remains as one of the fastest in Asia, yet our spatial legroom remains constant. It literally maintains its original size and shape, prodding us to strategize on its use while protecting everything that inhabits it,” Secretary Acuzar said.

Statistics from local housing boards indicate approximately 3.7 million informal settler families (ISFs) in the country, half a million of whom are in Metro Manila.

Living under poor conditions, they occupy blighted areas, within easements, beside railways, waterways, esteros, among other dangerous areas.

The 4PH Program, thus, focuses on developing low, mid to high-rise projects near the sources of livelihood of target beneficiaries. Indisputably, most of these areas are found in the metropolis or in the center of urban areas where ISFs persistently thrive.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. leads the groundbreaking ceremony of a Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Project in Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City under his flagship Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) Program. In attendance were House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, Quezon City Rep. Ralph Tulfo, DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, Mayor Joy Belmonte and other key government officials.

“The DHSUD, in partnership with LGUs, envisions to transform informal settlements and blighted areas into better residential developments with reasonable open spaces. In aid of this, we must clean and rehabilitate waterways and esteros into parks and walkways, and promote onsite or near-site in-city housing,” the housing chief expounded.

The 4PH’s concept on township development is, meanwhile, guided by the very definition of transit-oriented development to maximize the amount of residential, commercial and leisure spaces within walking distance or easy access to public transportation.

Recent projects the 4PH has inaugurated feature housing communities equipped with amenities and infrastructure to facilitate economic and social activities among target beneficiaries.

Facilities and amenities such as schools, a livelihood center, administrative offices, a central park, a basketball court, a mini market and hawker area, an aquaphonics area, a sewage treatment plant and a materials recovery facility are also incorporated in the master plan for township development.

With the right strategies in place, Secretary Acuzar is confident of reaching the flagship program’s target of bridging the country’s 6.5 million housing gap moving from ground up toward sustainable development.