By Kimberly Jane Tan | GMA News Online
The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved on second reading a bill which seeks to create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD).
Senate Bill No. 3199 seeks to create the DHUD, which shall act as the primary national government entity for the management of housing and urban development.
“This bill shall address the increasing demand for urban poor housing, regulate urban growth and prevent deterioration of the environment,” said Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., chair of the Senate committee on urban planning, housing and resettlement committee.
Under the measure, the powers and functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) shall be transferred to DHUD. The HLURB shall then be converted into the Adjudication Commission for Housing, Land Use and Urban Development.
“[The DHUD] shall be the sole and main planning and policy-making, regulatory, program coordination, and performance monitoring entity for all housing and urban development concerns, primarily focusing on the access to and affordability of the basic human needs,” said the bill.
The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council had listed SB 3199 as a priority bill because of the country's huge housing backlog.
According to Jose Cadiz, legislative officer of the Office of Senator Marcos, there are about 580,000 families of informal settlers in the country as of December 2011. Of this number, he said that about 105,000 families are living in disaster-prone areas.