Senator Chiz Escudero said the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) should build at least one million units annually in the next six years to narrow down the housing backlog and provide more affordable homes to the Filipino people.
Escudero issued the statement as he welcomed the appointment of long-time builder and property developer Jose Rizalino “Jerry” Acuzar as secretary of DHSUD by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“Now that President Marcos has appointed a new housing secretary, the government’s next step is to have a goal of at least building one million units annually for the next six years,” the veteran legislator said.
The DHSUD, which was created through Republic Act 11201, acts as the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing, human settlement, and urban development.
The law, which was enacted in 2019 under the Duterte administration, consolidated the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
“It’s been ages since an experienced builder like Secretary Acuzar has been placed at the helm of the housing department.”
“It’s been ages since an experienced builder like Secretary Acuzar has been placed at the helm of the housing department. I hope the Marcos administration will maximize his experience and vast knowledge of housing and urban development,” the seasoned lawmaker pointed out.
“It will be a waste of his talent if he will be consigned to issuing simply permits to private shelter projects instead of producing actual units,” the senator added.
“The one million target will only happen if the government will pour in more resources into its mass housing projects.”
He, however, stressed the one million target will only happen if the government will pour more resources into its mass housing projects and make it on top of its priority list in line with President Marcos’ vision to provide affordable and decent shelter for Filipinos.
“Housing remains in the basement of government spending. This year, for example, shelter retained its cellar-dwelling status in the national budget, receiving a microscopic 1/6th of 1%, or P5 billion, the amount property moguls allot for constructing one high-rise,” Escudero said.
Based on DHSUD data, the national housing backlog stood at 2.017 million units at the end of 2016, the year former President Roderigo Duterte assumed office.
It currently stands at 6.796 million units. It is projected to balloon to 11.759 million units by 2028, an increase of 4.962 million units over the next six years.
“The DHSUD estimates the shelter demand to grow by 827,000 units a year. This means building 2,277 homes every day over the next six years just to meet future demand, without denting the huge 6.796-million-unit backlog prior to 2023. Building at least one million units a year should be the fighting target under newly-appointed Housing Secretary Acuzar,” Escudero concluded.