By Marlon Purificacion | People's Journal Online
THE Philippines has a backlog of millions of housing units and the population is growing faster than the ability of the government and private sectors to provide houses for Filipino households.
This was disclosed by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., chair of the Senate committee on urban planning, housing and resettlement, as he stressed that the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development has become a strategic necessity to solve the housing backlog in the country.
Speaking before the delegates of the 21st National Convention of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Association (CREBA) at The Legend Palawan Hotel in Puerto Princesa City, Marcos urged them to rally behind his Senate Bill 3199.
“It is strategic for resolving the massive housing backlog in our country, which at last count, stood at millions of units. Demographic growth is outrunning completely the ability of our public and private sectors to provide adequate housing units for our people,” he said.
Senate Bill 3199, which will create a Department of Housing and Urban Development, was approved on third and final reading on July 24.
The House of Representatives is yet to approve its version of the proposed measure.
“By 2015, let us not forget, we will be a nation of 100 million people. When we enter this 100-million threshold, it is vital that we have a full-fledge department to meet the challenge in housing and urban development,” he pointed out.
The proposed housing department will put under one roof and one responsibility the tasks of planning, policy-making, regulatory control and program coordination, which currently are dispersed in numerous corporations and councils.
It will also tackle comprehensively and effectively the many problems of housing, urban planning and resettlement, including the challenge of slum improvement.
“Finally, I believe that having a separate housing department can lead to the adoption of the right policies and strategies for spurring investment in the housing sector,” Marcos added.