Angara pushes for creation of new housing department

November 22, 2011 10:47 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 22 — Senator Edgardo Angara has thrown his support behind the establishment of a Department of Housing to better coordinate the efforts of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and numerous agencies now only under its supervision.

The HUDCC is composed of the Home Guaranty Corporation, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, Social Housing Finance Corporation, National Housing Authority, Home Development Mutual Fund, and the Land Use Regulatory Board.

"It is high time that we rationalize all these agencies and put them together under a Housing Department. This will make coordination easier, and make us closer to our target of providing more homes to our people," said Angara, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Finance.

"The Philippines is the only country that spends the least for housing of their citizens –even less than half a percent of our GDP," he said, reiterating the need for increased coordination and budgetary support.

The total budget allocation for all housing agencies for FY 2012 is only P6.975 billion.

"There are 1.5 million Filipinos in need of help to provide shelter for their families. Why are we not helping them? To meet this need, the government has to invest P361 billion from 2012 to 2016, but given our current spending, how will we reach that goal?" he continued.

Reacting to government underspending that has resulted to the contraction of the economy Angara said, "The construction industry has shrunk by 10 percent because government has not been spending money it ought to spend. And it is affecting our economy. Instead of stimulating our economy, it is costing us jobs."

"We ought to invest properly and strategically. Construction and housing are in fact the key engines of job creation in the country, yet it sorely lacks attention of government. It is imperative to create a Housing Department that will be at the forefront of this effort to assist in providing homes for our people," he stressed.

The Senate Committees on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, joint with the Committee Civil Service and Government Reorganization, and the Committee on Finance, is scheduled to hear the said bill Wednesday morning.(PNA)

LDV/jfm

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