Both in quality and quantity of housing units, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) delivered during its first three years under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Armed with the mandate of assisting and capacitating underprivileged Filipino families in having a decent and sustainable house they can call their home, the Department, under its first ever chief Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, stepped up to the plate despite facing several obstacles.
DHSUD, following its creation in 2019, immediately raised the bar when it came to building affordable yet decent housing units. It likewise changed the urban development landscape by cementing stronger partnerships with local government units and private developers.
Under the Duterte administration, the country’s annual housing production stood at 197,886 – the highest among previous administrations since 1975. DHSUD also saw to it that all housing units produced during the period were of high-quality.
At the end of 2021, more than 1.08 million housing units and lots were produced and financed by the Department and key shelter agencies. The figure translates to 86 percent of the 1.26-million units targeted under the Philippine Development Plan for the 2016-2022 period.
Another significant accomplishment of DHSUD was the crafting and adoption of the 2040 National Housing and Urban Development Sector Plan (NHUDSP), which will serve as a roadmap for future administrations.
Equally important are the measures DHSUD implemented to keep the housing sector on track despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the height of the health crisis, DHSUD enforced moratoriums on loan payments to key shelter agencies to help ease public burden. And amidst the pandemic, the Department ensured uninterrupted implementation of housing projects, more importantly the continuity of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of workers.
A total of 233 local government units likewise received DHSUD assistance with regard to updating and ratifying their Comprehensive Land Use Plans and Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plans.
Del Rosario said the ratification of such pacts signifies the government’s commitment to promoting effective land utilization toward ensuring national progress without causing harm to the environment.
To further minimize the adverse effects of the pandemic, DHSUD crafted real estate development policies and issued directives – 1,437 Licenses to Sell were awarded while Certificates of Registration were bestowed to 36,624 dealers, brokers and salespersons who registered in the last two years.
In giving premium to professionalizing further the housing industry, DHSUD implemented various measures to help achieve its mandate.
It likewise prioritized the provision of shelter-related assistance to homeowners’ associations or HOAs- it is currently serving 25,621 registered HOAs from across the country. Further, it also revised the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Magna Carta for HOAs.
To enhance DHSUD’s operationalization, management has already filled up 65.46 percent of its workforce, crafted and submitted for funding its Information Systems Strategic Plan and completed the establishment of its 16 regional offices, each fully capable of carrying out DHSUD’s housing programs and policies.
Dozens of agreements were likewise finalized with LGUs and private developers in the Department’s goal of establishing stronger partnerships with all housing stakeholders.
These key pacts have resulted in the establishment of not only housing projects, but also evacuation centers in various parts of the country as part of government efforts to boost disaster preparedness.
Kudos to the men and women of DHSUD for carrying out their respective tasks with passion and dedication. Rest assured that the Department will not rest on its laurels. There is still room for improvement and more work needs to be done.
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The article was originally published in The Philippine Star – Property Report PH.