Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., chairman of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, lauded the hands-on participation of the private sector in the creation of the proposed new Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) to speed up growth of the housing industry in the country.
Speaking before the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association (CREBA) 8th Business Meeting held at Intercontinental Hotel, Makati, Marcos said that the Senate and Lower House committees look forward to the continued active and proactive participation of the private sector, especially CREBA, in the creation and the activation of the new DHUD because housing development is principally a private sector-led economic enterprise with the national government and the local governments as government’s dynamic partners in ensuring the accelerated growth of the housing industry.
“If you will recall, I had the privilege and opportunity to speak before you at your 1st International Convention in the famous city of Macau last October 26-25. At that forum, I presented to you the enormous challenges as well as the vast opportunities of improving housing in the Philippines. We came to the conclusion that the perceived dismal performance of demand housing in the Philippines needed further innovative ideas if we are to stem the tide of what is considered as the fairly sad state of affairs of housing in the Philippines.” Marcos added.
The creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development is envisioned to provide the core capacity required to improve sector governance and to address sector issues and challenges stemming from rapid urbanization, uncontrolled urban growth, increasing urban poverty, and a deteriorating urban environment. The proposed department will enable the government to address these problems through the formulation and implementation of the necessary reforms, sector policies and program interventions that will mobilize public and private resources and ensure their synchronization.
“After all the noise and drumbeating done to get the attention of our policymakers, it looks like we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with the inclusion of the urgent need for the long-delayed creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as the number one priority in the latest LEDAC meeting called by the President a few weeks ago.” Marcos added.
There have been three proposed versions in the Senate which seek to address the absence of an adequate and coherent institutional framework that will enable a holistic management of the housing and urban development sector, address the weakness of the present set-up and define the horizontal and vertical relationship of the department with the other government agencies and local government units.
Almost four decades ago, a small core group at the development academy of the Philippines evolved into the Task Force on Human Settlements (TFHS). With the help of environmental planners from the then up institute of planning, the task force began organizing a comprehensive framework for planning and developing Philippine human settlements, with considerations for availability of basic services, especially for the poorest of the poor.
Eventually the task force became the nucleus of what was to be established as the Ministry of Human Settlements (MHS) which was tasked to come up with the total holistic approach to achieve human security for all Filipinos.
“At that time, MHS identified eleven basic needs of the Filipinos that had to be consistently addressed in the short, medium and long terms: water, electricity, clothing, livelihood, health, education, culture, technology, ecological balance, sports and recreation, shelter and mobility” Marcos narrated.
In 1986 the Ministry of Human Settlements was among the first national agencies to be abolished. In fact, it was replaced by a Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), which got transformed into a mere coordinating agency, without strong executive powers and no implementing responsibilities.