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Duterte signs law creating housing agency

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A new law has created a government agency that will be primarily responsible for the management of housing, human settlements and urban development.

Republic Act 11201 abolishes the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and consolidates their functions into the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

HLURB will be reconstituted into the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission, with regional field units that will handle cases related to housing, zoning and other related regulations.

The new department will supervise attached agencies National Housing Authority (NHA) and four state-owned housing corporations namely, Home Guaranty Corporation, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), and Social Housing Finance Corporation.

Based on the final bill submitted by Congress to President Rodrigo R. Duterte in November 2018, the new agency will be the sole planning and policy-making, regulatory , program coordination, performance monitoring, and adjudicating entity for all housing, human settlement and urban development concerns.

The last time the Philippines had a housing agency was in the late seventies when the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos created the Ministry of Human Settlements which was headed by then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos. This was abolished under the Corazon C. Aquino administration.

Among DHSUD’s functions is to develop and adopt a national strategy to immediately address the provision of adequate and affordable housing to all Filipinos.

It shall be composed of the: Office of the Secretary; and bureaus for policy development, coordination, monitoring and evaluation, environmental land use, urban planning and development, housing and real estate development regulation, as well as the homeowners association and community development.

Section 2 of the reconciled bill declares that the State shall, pursuant to Section 9, Article XIII of the Constitution, ensure that underprivileged and homeless citizens have access to an adequate, safe, secure, habitable, sustainable resilient and affordable home.

In addition, the government shall encourage on-site development in the implementation of housing programs and shall promote the creation of new settlements and development of sustainable urban renewal programs while guaranteeing the prevention of agricultural lands necessary for food security.

The HUDCC, HLURB, DBM and the Civil Service Commission (CSC), in coordination with the NHA, NHMFC, NDMF and other concerned agencies shall prepare and issue the implementing rules and regulations of the department within 30 days upon the effectivity of the Act. (Ventures Cebu)

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