HUDCC to tap private sector in effort to reduce housing backlog

Published by rudy Date posted on May 28, 2011

Manila, Philippines – The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) will tap the private sector to address the Aquino administration’s target to reduce the 3.6 million housing backlog half by year 2016, Vice President Jejomar Binay said yesterday.

In a speech delivered during the opening of the 1st Philippine Urbanization forum at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, Binay urged the civil society groups to help the HUDCC in strictly enforcing Republic Act (RA) 7279 or the Urban Development Housing Act (UDHA).

Binay, HUDCC chairman, also urged the private sector, the civil society groups to use volunteerism as a means to directly link with the public sector in providing training and livelihood assistance.

“Since the resources of the government are limited, we will fast-track the implementation of our sustainable communities including the immediate development of other proclaimed sites for housing under the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) schemes,” Binay said.

Binay said the country’s key shelter agencies are currently formulating housing policies that are designed to significantly reduce the country’s 3.6 million housing gap by half in 2016.

“Furthermore, we would like to encourage volunteerism as a means to directly link the public sector, the private sector, and civil society organizations in re-engineering our settlements and involvement of our civil society organizations and people’s organizations in estate management particularly in providing training and livelihood assistance,” Binay said.

Binay said the government is seriously considering portions of the land previously declared as housing sites to be developed as commercial areas to make them the enabling component for socialized and low-cost housing.

“To date, there are more than a hundred proclamations that have been signed by our present and past Presidents for housing purposes and most of these lands remain underdeveloped. We need the private sector to convert these idle and underutilized government lands into pre-planned self-sustaining green communities,” Binay said.

Binay said the Philippines is one of the fastest urbanizing countries in East Asia.

He said while cities in the country serve as engines of growth they also suffer from issues like high poverty incidence, environmental degradation, and a lack of decent housing resulting in the proliferation of slums and informal settlements.

To combat this, Binay said that HUDCC is working with local government units in order to build their capacities to carry out and implement their own housing programs.

“When economic progress takes place in the city, rural to urban migration certainly follows. This necessitates taking an active role in reaching out and talking to all stakeholders – the grass roots, the local government units, and the private sector, both in rural and urban areas,” Binay said. –Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star)

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