₱30 billion needed annually to address housing backlog

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5) — A lawmaker said ₱30 billion is needed annually for the next 20 years to address the country’s housing backlog.

Northern Samar Rep. Paul Daza, the sponsor of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development’s 2021 budget, said during the plenary deliberations on Monday that this will help solve the country’s housing backlog at 6.5 million for both formal and informal sectors.

For 2021, the housing department has a proposed budget of ₱632 million, down 29 percent from its 2020 budget.

Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas questioned this given the housing backlog that needs to be addressed.

To address budgetary problems, Daza said the DHSUD has a proposal, the National Housing Development, Production and Financing Act that is currently filed in the Senate.

Otherwise known as Senate Bill no. 203, which was filed by Sen. Bong Go, aims to address housing needs of Filipinos through generation and mobilization of funds for housing, as well as to encourage participation of the public and private sectors in the program.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate criticized the slow progress of the housing project for Marawi rehabilitation. Daza said this was delayed due to the procurement of lots. This is targeted to be completed by December 2021.

Daza noted that about ₱22 billion was already released by the Department of Budget and Management, while ₱60 billion is not yet released.

In August, Task Force Bangon Marawi Chairperson Eduardo del Rosario said they are doubling efforts to meet this deadline, which was further challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around 17,000 Marawi residents were displaced since the dispute between government forces and terrorists in 2017. Some 3,500 permanent shelters are being built for these affected residents.