Marcos admin unveils sustainable housing program

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The Marcos administration’s Pambansang Pabahay (National Housing) program unveils a policy shift, focusing on developing lands for human settlements near urban areas or the metropolis.

Senior administration official Jose Rizalino Acuzar, head of the Human Settlements and Urban Development, said the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program in the urban areas is “advantageous to both real estate owners and informal settler families currently inhabiting private properties.”

“For long, we cannot provide proper shelters to ISFs living in private properties, especially in urban areas. At the same time, the owners of these lands do not have the opportunity to develop their properties for optimum advantage. With the ‘Pambansang Pabahay,’ we can offer to achieve both with appropriate planning,” Acuzar said, adding that it is a ‘win-win’ situation.

The housing chief added the Pambansang Pabahay primarily focuses on developing lands for human settlements near the sources of livelihood of target beneficiaries. Most of these lands are found in the metropolis or the center of urban areas­ — some owned by private citizens — where ISFs persistently thrive.

Under the Pambansang Pabahay flagship program, the government aims to build one million housing units annually until 2028 to address the country’s housing needs.

Photograph courtesy of SONNY ESPIRITU
Cyclists and joggers enjoy the clean air and scenery along the Marikina River.

As one of its initial strategies, DHSUD has been exploring available lands for housing development all over the country, including idle government lands, with local government units.

“I am calling on all private owners of lands in the cities that can be used for government housing development to coordinate with DHSUD so that we can use these properties for human settlements and urban development. Allow us to explore prospects mutually beneficial to all parties involved,” Acuzar said.

Marcos said he would issue an executive order to use idle government lands for housing development to support the program.

Apart from building housing units, the Pambansang Pabahay also promotes township development to provide housing communities easy access to sources of income and other services the home dwellers will need in everyday life.

“Through this, we can ensure sustainable economic activities to continuously improve the living conditions of homeowners and even extend this to nearby communities,” Acuzar said.

Meanwhile, Acuzar warned the public and other stakeholders to only transact with the Department, its key shelter agencies, and their local government regarding the housing program.

“We encourage everyone, including interested real property owners, to directly come to us for any queries on the program,” he said.


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