Sen. Bongbong Marcos: Principal stakeholders and key agencies should unite and be heard in creating Department of Housing

The Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlements, chaired by Senator Bongbong Marcos, held on 8 March 2011 the first in a series of hearings on the bills proposing the creation of a Department of Housing and Urban Development. The hearing assembled the major players in the housing sector, including the National Housing Authority, the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), the Social Security System, the Government Service Insurance System, and led by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

Senator Bongbong agreed with the plan of the agencies to first convene in a separate forum to discuss among themselves the niceties of the different versions of the bills, to allow them to present to the Senate a firm and unified opinion on the matter. A united position, he said, is crucial since all these agencies similarly stand to be substantially affected by the creation of the Department. In fact, one version of the bill proposes the abolition of the housing agencies, save for the Pag-IBIG Fund; while the two others propose rather the mere attachment of the agencies to the prospective Department while maintaining their respective juridical existence. The committee shall resume the hearings as soon as the housing agencies are ready to present their consensus position.

The congressional creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development is one of the priority plans of this administration, as agreed upon at the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting held last month.

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