Senators find DHSUD budget ‘inadequate’ to fulfill targets


The budget allocated to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and its attached agencies is “grossly inadequate,” according to some senators.

In the Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee H session, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Franklin M.  Drilon, and Francis Tolentino agreed that the agency must be given a higher budget next year.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) allocated a budget of P6.39 billion for the DHSUD and its attached agencies for 2022.

“The real priorities in the national budget are so unheard of that the economic and social projects, like in housing, are totally ignored,” Drilon said. “We should support our housing sector, it is a multiplier for our economy,” the senator added.

Hontiveros, also emphasized the need for the budget allocation for the housing sector to be raised for DHSUD to enforce and carry out regulations and programs meant to benefit Filipinos, particularly the urban poor.

Tolentino, who chairs the Senate Committee on Housing also expressed support to increase the DHSUD’s budget for 2022. He said he supported the recommendation of Drilon.

“I reiterate the recommendation given by the Minority Leader  [Drilon] and I support the passage of this measure to address the miniscule budget needed by Filipinos for housing, which is the first and last bastion as we control the Covid-19 pandemic,” Tolentino added.

In a presentation, DHSUD Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said efforts to meet the agency’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP) targets are under way and may be exceeded since the accomplishment rate is already at 84 percent as of June 2021.

Del Rosario said the DHSUD and key shelter agencies (KSA) have been able to build 1.076 million houses between 2016 and June 2021. This represents 84 percent of the 1.28 million PDP target.

This means the DHSUD has a year to complete 203,976. Del Rosario said given that the annual accomplishment of the agency has reached an average of 195,687 houses per year since 2016.

“It means we still have six months and the whole year of 2022 to accomplish the remaining balance of more than 200,000 units. It means to say that with an average of 195,000 yearly accomplishments of the housing sector, we can easily accomplish more than 100 percent of our PDP target,” del Rosario said during the hearing.

Del Rosario highlighted the accomplishments of DHSUD and its KSAs, including the finalization of the 20-year national housing road map and the formation of a task force to run after real-estate scammers.

He added that the country’s housing need currently stands at 6.5 million nationwide and will most likely to soar by next year, hence the need to increase the government’s budget allocation.

Since 2010, government allocation for the housing sector only stands at less than 1 percent of the national budget. For next year, the department is proposing a P75.575-billion budget, but the recommended allotment by the Department of Budget and Management is only P6.39 billion.

According to the housing czar, DHSUD is advocating for the passage of the National Housing Production and Development Financing Act, which will ensure a P50-billion annual appropriation for the next 20 years to address the country’s rising housing need, as well as promote public housing development.

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