• HUDCC backs creation of Housing Department

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    THE Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) has put its support behind Duterte administration’s plan to replace HUDCC with a newly created Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD), saying it would make the government more effective in administering its housing programs.

    Speaking to reporters, Vice President Leni Robredo who is also the chairperson of HUDCC said, “This is a step in the right direction that is crucial to our common efforts of resolving the country’s housing and urban development needs.”

    Robredo explained, “One of the limitations of HUDCC is that, as a coordinating council, unlike departments, we do not have the mandate to execute programs. Under the current set-up, all plans to be crafted by HUDCC have to be transferred to the Office of the President for them to create an Executive Order. This makes the process more tedious and longer.”

    The Vice President stressed that the creation of DHUD will allow the government to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to resolve the country’s housing and urban development needs, something she suggested has been lacking in approaches employed by the government until now.

    In a Senate budget hearing last Wednesday, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno confirmed that the Cabinet decided to pursue the creation a housing department.

    Diokno said that the proposed DHUD would be discussed in the next Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council meeting later this month.

    Legislative measures to create a housing department have been filed several times in both houses of Congress, since 2007. While several bills have passed in either the Senate or the House of Representatives, including a Senate measure last year, none has hurdled the final steps to be enacted into law.

    Robredo did not indicate what the organization or functions of the proposed DHUD would be, but it would presumably absorb the government’s six Key Shelter Agencies (KSAs) currently under the HUDCC: The National Housing Authority (NHA), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF/Pag-IBIG) and Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC).

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