NegOcc solon notes housing crisis in PHL, cites solutions

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Rep. Alfredo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) said he is banking on the creation of the Department of Housing to address what he calls a “housing crisis”, that is now being experienced in the country.

Rep. Alfredo Benitez (8th from left) with officials of the Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines Inc., headed by Rhoniel Mercado, during their national convention in Bacolod City*

Benitez, chairperson of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, said yesterday that he hopes it will be passed by Congress next month, as it had been proposed 27 years ago yet.

Speaking before the Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines national convention at L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City, Benitez said 57 percent of the country’s population has no homes, while 27 percent cannot afford a decent house.

Because of this, he added, the country is turning into a population of “renters”.

If the government will not intervene in this situation, there will be more informal settlers, especially in the urban areas, Benitez warned.

Among the solutions, he said, is the establishment of public housing.

He said they are also consolidating all government lands in major cities, to be used for the construction of public housing projects.

At the board meeting of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Wednesday last week, Benitez said they will proposed an executive order to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, that will allow all government lands within the jurisdiction of HUDCC to be allocated for housing purposes, among other related projects.

In Metro Manila alone, the government owns 3,400 hectares of land, of which 1,138 hectares are inhabited by informal settlers.

“If we are able to get 20 percent of it,” Benitez said “it is enough to fit in 600,000 families of informal settlers.”

If we do this all over again, we may be able to eradicate hopelessness for the informal settlers in the country and in the near future, he added.*GPB