Barely a year after its inception, President Marcos’ Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino (4PH) Program has started to bear fruits with housing units scheduled for delivery this month and several projects in various regions across the country now in full-blast construction and development.
Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said that 4PH has already hurdled the initial challenges that faced the new innovation and out-of-the-box approach to end homelessness in the country.
Sec. Acuzar cited the all-out support of Marcos to DHSUD in the nationwide rollout of the “Pambansang Pabahay.”
“Lahat po ng suporta ay ibinibigay sa atin ng ating mahal na Pangulo upang tayo’y magtagumpay hindi lamang sa programang pabahay kundi sa pagtulong sa pagbangon sa kahirapan ng ating mga kababayan,” the DHSUD chief said.
Currently, 15 projects are now in various stages of development and construction in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao while dozens of others are awaiting completion of documentary requirements.
These projects are in Ilagan City, Isabela; Bocaue, Bulacan; Minalin, Candaba and City of San Fernando in Pampanga; Palayan City, Nueva, Ecija; Alitagtag and Tanauan City in Batangas; Binan, Laguna; Naga City, Bacolod City and Tagbilaran City in the Visayas, and Davao City, Zamboanga City and Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental in Mindanao.
In Bacolod City, for instance, the DHSUD and the local government unit, headed by Mayor Albee Benitez, are set to deliver around 300 housing units at the Asenso Yuhum Residence – the first project to have completed a building under 4PH.
In Davao City, four buildings under the People’s Ville Phase 1 and Phase 2 project, a collaboration of DHSUD, Social Housing Finance Corp. (SHFC) and the LGU, are now in final stages of completion.
Construction and development are now in full blast in the other ongoing projects.
“We are right on track, as evidenced by the upcoming delivery of units in Bacolod and the ongoing development and construction of 4PH projects in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” Sec. Acuzar said.
More than just housing
More than just a housing program designed to address the estimated 6.5 million housing backlog, Sec. Acuzar said that “Pambansang Pabahay” also aims to transform the ways of life of the underprivileged Filipinos by offering them the opportunity to own a house of their own.
The 4PH also has huge potential in unlocking economic opportunities, from job creation to improving property valuation due to widespread development, particularly government land. By establishing new townships, the DHSUD aims to expand development.
Called the “big push” in the human settlements and urban development landscape, President Marcos’ Executive Orders 34 and 35 serve as the concrete manifestation of the government’s commitment to provide decent and affordable homes in sustainable communities for all Filipinos, especially the underprivileged.
Gov’t idle land for housing
Merely a week apart in July, Malacañang released EO 34, formally declaring the “Pambansang Pabahay” as the flagship program of the government and directing government agencies to submit an inventory of available and suitable lands for the program, and EO 35, which created the Inter-agency Council for the Pasig River Urban Development (IAC-PRUD).
Sec. Acuzar has touted the EOs as the ultimate game changer of contemporary times.
Among the key provisions of EO 34 are – (a) identification of lands for housing and human settlements, (b) land inventory by national government agencies and local government units, (c) acquisition and development of identified lands and (d) expropriation of lands.
The creation of the IAC-PRUD under EO 35, meanwhile, prompted the launching of the Pasig Bigyang Buhay Muli project – an initiative not only to rehabilitate the waterway but also to maximize its economic potential by transforming its banks into people-centered parks and commercial hubs.
Both EOs fortify specific functions of DHSUD as stated in Republic Act 11201, particularly on development and management of government lands, urban management, protection of vulnerable persons and communities in hazard-prone areas, among other related provisions.
Bringing back the glory of Pasig River
Immediately after its establishment, the IAC-PRUD, chaired by Sec. Acuzar, has unveiled the Pasig Bigyang Buhay Muli (PBBM) Project – a massive urban development plan composed of mixed-use commercial areas and open public parks, along the 25-kilometer stretch of the Pasig River from the Manila Bay all the way to Laguna de Bay.
To jumpstart the project, the IAC-PRUD has initially identified eight key areas, with people-centric improvements like jogging paths and bike lanes, from the city of Manila up to Rizal province, traversing major cities in the metropolis.
The showcase area will be located at the back of the Manila Central Post Office while the eight development sections include Arroceros Park Esplanade; along Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila; Sta. Ana, Manila; crossing Makati and Madaluyong; Guadalupe, Makati; Makati Park and Garden – Pasig; Buting, Pasig; and Napindan – Lupang Arenda.
While focused on the colossal rehabilitation plan, the PBBM project also addresses the settlements concerns of the current occupants in the development sections.
The project covers permanent relocation of thousands of informal settler families along the riverbanks under 4PH. For this purpose, DHSUD has laid out plans with other national government agencies.
Expressing full support to the project is no other than First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos whose advocacies include revitalizing the Pasig River into commercial, lifestyle, tourism and culture hub like the world-renowned Thames of London and Seine of Paris.
Overall, for 2023, the DHSUD has been steadfast in the performance of its mandates and more, as it carries these accomplishments to sustain the positive momentum in the coming year for the fulfillment of Marcos’ vision of “walang Pilipinong walang bahay sa sariling bayan.