It’s about time.
Last week, lawmakers approved on second reading House Bill (HB) 6775 seeking the creation of a Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHUD) to address the housing needs of Filipino families.
This is a Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) priority measure, and we’re happy that it is nearing approval in the House before transmittal to the Senate.
HB 6775 aims to establish an efficient, effective, comprehensive and integrated national and local housing and urban development program. It will rationalize, and coordinate the functions and powers of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., Home Guaranty Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund and the National Housing Authority.
We already have Republic Act 7279, or the Urban Development Housing Act, but this law has obviously failed to address the housing backlog that stood at 3 million in 1992. It is estimated that the housing needs of Filipinos could balloon to 6.8 million before President Duterte’s term ends in 2022.
Under HB 6775, the DHUD will not only provide for housing but will also focus on building communities and habitats in both rural and urban areas. It will not only deal with the physical element of housing but likewise provide the necessary link to community services and components, such as education, health, culture, recreation, food and nutrition. That’s the way it should be—holistic and comprehensive.