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With in-city settlements as a priority under President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.’s Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar dubbed the program as ‘advantageous’ to both real estate owners and informal settler families (ISF) currently inhabiting private properties.
In a recent interview, Secretary Acuzar explained that the ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ primarily focuses on developing lands for human settlements near the sources of livelihood of target beneficiaries. Most of these lands are found in the metropolis or in the center of urban areas – some owned by private citizens – where ISFs persistently thrive.
“For a long time, we are not able to provide proper shelters to ISFs living in private properties, especially in urban areas. At the same time, the owners of these lands do not have the opportunity to develop their properties for optimum advantage. With the ‘Pambansang Pabahay’, we can offer to achieve both with appropriate planning,” Secretary Acuzar said.
“It’s a win-win situation,” he added.
The ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ aims to build one million housing units per year until 2028 as the government’s flagship program in addressing the country’s housing needs. As one of its initial strategies, DHSUD has been exploring available lands for housing development all over the country, including government idle lands, with local government units.
“I am calling on all private owners of lands in the cities that can be used for government housing development to coordinate with DHSUD so that we can make use of these properties for human settlements and urban development. Allow us to explore prospects which can be mutually beneficial to all parties involved,” the housing czar added.
President Marcos Jr. has earlier announced that he will issue an executive order to use government idle lands for housing development to support the program.
Apart from building housing units, the ‘Pambansang Pabahay’ also promotes township development to provide housing communities easy access to sources of income and other services the home dwellers will need in everyday life.
“Through this, we can ensure sustainable economic activities to continuously improve the living conditions of homeowners, and even extend this to nearby communities,” Secretary Acuzar added.
Meanwhile, Secretary Acuzar once again warned the public and other stakeholders to only transact with the Department, its key shelter agencies and their local government in regard to ‘Pambansang Pabahay’.
“We encourage everyone, including interested real property owners, to directly come to us for any queries on the program,” the DHSUD secretary said.