By Mario B. Casayuran | Manila Bulletin
The Senate approved Wednesday on second reading a bill seeking to create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) in response to the country’s perennial housing needs and problems.
Once enacted into law, Senate Bill No. 3199, will create a new line department in the Executive Branch.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., chairman of the Senate Urban Planning, Housing, and Resettlement Committee.
Since it was approved just before the Senate adjourned sine die Wednesday night ending the second regular session of the 15th Congress, the bill would have to be approved on third and final reading when Congress opens its doors for the third regular session of the 15th Congress which starts July 23.
Marcos said his bill is intended to consolidate policy-making and coordinate the functions of the present Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the planning and regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
He said the proposed DHUD would be the sole and main planning and policy-making regulatory program coordination and performance monitoring entity for all housing and urban development concerns and to which certain agencies and government corporations involved in housing such as the National Housing Authority (NHA) shall be attached.
The bill, according to Marcos, is in accordance to the state policy of pursuing the realization of a modern humane, economically viable and environmentally sustainable society where the urbanization process is manifest in towns and cities being centers of productive economic activity, through partnerships with multi-stakeholders.
This seeks to provide affordable housing, sustainable physical and social infrastructure and services facilitated under a democratic and decentralized system of governance in the urban areas where urban areas provide the opportunities for an improved quality of life and eradication of poverty, Marcos said.