‘Super’ housing agency gets nod of lawmakers


THE House of Representatives approved the creation of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development to be responsible for providing adequate and responsible housing.

Voting 193 to 6, lawmakers passed House Bill 6775, which would merge the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLRB) to form the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

The new Housing agency is mandated to implement a rational, well-balanced, orderly and efficient redevelopment of urban communities and the development of new settlements in rural and non-farm areas to assure dwellers of decent and affordable housing, job and livelihood communities, efficient mass transit, public safety, health care, educational opportunities and clean environment.

“This will establish an efficient, effective, comprehensive and integrated national and local housing development program,” the Committee Report on the measure read.

“Likewise, the bill will rationalize and coordinate the functions and powers of the National Home Mortgage Corporation, Home Guaranty Corporation, Home Development Mutual Fund and National Housing Authority,” the Committee Report said.

Reps. Albee Benitez of Negros Occidental, chairman of the Committee on Housing and Urban Development, noted that the bill’s passage showed how the Duterte administration recognized the importance of providing decent and affordable shelters for our people.

Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Jr. of Camarines Sur, for his part, pitched the passage of his proposed House Bill 6040 or the proposed Resilient Housing and Human Settlements Act to complement the creation of the new Housing department.

“At least 30 destructive tropical cyclones have hit the country since Super Typhoon Yolanda [in November 2013]. The passage of the Resilient Housing and Human Settlements Act will ensure protection of vulnerable communities from the adverse effects of climate change and other natural disasters,” Villafuerte, vice chairman of the Committee on Good Government, said in a separate statement. LLANESCA T. PANTI