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  • Resettled Communities Empowered By NHA - MANILA, Philippines --- The National Housing Authority (NHA) has come up with measures to “emp


    by Jc Bello Ruiz
    October 4, 2013 (updated)
    Manila Bulletin

    Manila, Philippines – From the current 3.6-million backlog in housing, the country’s shelter needs may balloon to 5.8 million by 2016, Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Jejomar C. Binay revealed yesterday.

    Speaking at the opening of the 4th Asia-Pacific Housing Forum held in Makati City the other day, Binay said: “We foresee that the housing need will continue to grow and reach about 5.8 million housing units by 2016.”

    He said that when he was given the task of chairing the HUDCC in 2010, the magnitude of the housing need had already swelled to well over three million units.

    Since then, Binay swore: “We apply every effort to reduce the backlog.”

    However, the housing sector in the Philippines faces three key challenges which the Housing Czar identified as: “Meeting the enormous housing need and demand; rapid growth of informal households and settlements; and strained basic shelter, and urban services.”

    To address these issues, Binay underscored the importance of collaboration among the public, private, and people sectors in addressing the linked issues of housing and poverty, particularly in pursuing the country’s national housing strategy targeting the provision of one million units of direct housing assistance from 2011 to 2016.

    From July, 2010 to June, 2013, the housing sector has provided secure tenure to more than 354,000 families valued at P133 billion.
    Binay already admitted that the government could have done more during the first three years of the Aquino administration “but there are realities to contend with, which forced us to make downward adjustments on our targets.”

    The government is struggling to deliver its hope to build 1.5 million homes by 2016 to cut down the country’s 3.6 million housing gap.
    But problems like the Globe Asiatique scandal early in the Aquino administration’s tenur had slowed down the momentum.

    “The Globe Asiatique fiasco that rendered about P7 billion housing fund locked in legal issues necessitated the institution by Pag-IBIG of safeguards to protect the Fund from similar incidents,” Binay said.
    “It took a while to restore the confidence of the stakeholders in the system of rolling out funds to the housing industry. But now, our policies and programs are in place and we have placed Pag-IBIG Fund on track,” he assured.

    He also said that the government had to refocus its resettlement program on the P50-billion housing scheme for informal settlers in danger areas in Metro Manila.

    “This required a different approach, such as in-city housing, where we face new challenges, particularly land availability. We have yet to overcome the difficulty of acquiring affordable land for relocation but I have challenged the NHA (National Housing Authority) and the SHFC (Social Housing Finance Corporation) to come up with more innovative approaches to solve this issue,” he explained.