Lawmakers called for a bigger budget allocation for the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), so the agency could meet its target of completing housing projects for the poor Filipinos and informal settlers.
The Department of Budget and Management only approved P3.68 billion for DHSUD, as shown during the House appropriations panel deliberations on the department’s budget. The allocation is only 5.17% of its original proposed budget of P77.06 billion.
Of the P3.68 billion, only P2 billion would go to the National Housing Authority.
The proposed amount is also lower than DHSUD’s allocation under the 2020 General Appropriations Act of about P7.83 billion.
DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario said he was alarmed by the low allocations the housing departments have been receiving annually.
“We are supposed to accomplish 1.4 million housing units for the informal settler families from 2017 to 2022, for a period of five years. So far we are averaging about 200,000 housing units every year,” he said.
“Of course, the housing department is largely dependent on the budget allocation. But by using our financial component of the national shelter program, by utilizing the resources of the Pag-ibig fund, the Social Housing Finance Corp., and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., we are somehow hitting close to our target of about 87% to 90%,” he added.
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Cavite Representative Strike Revilla said more budget should be given to DHSUD so more informal settler families could have their own houses.
“This representation strongly supports the proposed 2021 budget for the DHSUD at mariin ko ring hinihiling sa ating mga kasama dito ay kung maaari ay madagdagan ang budget nito,” he said.
“Alam natin na may programang Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa ang ating mahal na Pangulo na tingin ko kailangang mabudgetan ito dahil ito ang makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan na bumalik na sa kanilang mga probinsya na wala pa ring permanenteng tirahan,” he added.
Iloilo City Representative Julienne Baronda agreed with Revilla’s sentiment, noting the DHSUD is vital in the government’s national shelter program implementation.
“Napakaliit at napakasakit sa lahat ng departamento, only .08% sa pondo sa national ang nailalaan sa departamento niyo. Very basic human need ang shelter,” she said.
“I believe that this department deserves more…. We have to restore the budget of the DHSUD,” she added.