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Acuzar needs help to beat housing backlog

October 5, 2023 Mario Fetalino Jr. 275 views

Mario FetalinoHOUSING Czar Jerry Acuzar has a big promise to fulfill.

After being appointed as secretary of the Department of Housing Settlements and Urban Development (DSHUD) in June this year, Acuzar vowed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to address the country’s housing backlog.

The country has around 6.5 million units in housing backlog. No administration in the past has claimed success in providing shelters to all Filipinos.

But the current administration committed to build one million houses each year until 2028 to beat the challenge.

For this year, Acuzar is aiming to construct 1.2 million houses all over the country. He’s smart enough to tap the help of local governments to achieve his mission.

No wonder, various housing programs are being implemented in different parts of the archipelago not only in partnership with the LGUs but also with numerous supporters from the private sector.

Acuzar should be thankful that other government agencies are likewise backing up the President’s housing thrust, making the 1-milliion houses per year goal a lot more possible to accomplish.

Cognizant of the President’s desire to deliver the dream houses of many underprivileged Filipinos, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) recently joined the efforts to advance the national housing program.

The state pension fund awarded land titles to 70 beneficiaries from various GSIS housing programs, under the Pabahay sa Bagong Bayaning Manggagawa (PBBM) initiative.

GSIS must have realized that If poor Filipinos can avail of housing benefits from the government, state workers should get the same being the ones that run relevant programs such as housing.

“We believe every government employee deserves to own a home in line with the President’s vision for every Filipino to have a secure, affordable, and safe housing.

Ang magkaroon ng sariling tahanan ay pangunahing karapatan ng bawat tao. Masasabi ko na higit pa ito sa karapatan ng pag boto,” GSIS President and General Manager Wick Veloso said.

In May, the GSIS introduced the “Pabahay Para sa mga Bayaning Manggagawa (PBBM) ng Pilipinas”, a three-tiered strategy in support of the Pambansang Pabahay flagship program of the Marcos Administration.

These include the Lease with Option to Buy (LWOB), Housing Accounts Restructuring and Condonation Program (HARCP), and regular housing loan program.

During the recent awarding event, among the beneficiaries is Rueben Quejas, 62 years old from Binan, Laguna, a retired Division Chief from the Department of Energy. Quejas has learned about the GSIS Housing program through a broker and his wife convinced him to apply for it.

“Mahirap kung di mo sariling (property) ginagalawan mo, wala kang choice kundi makisama. Masayang masaya ako. The mere fact na alam kong may mauuwian kami ng aking pamilya ay napakasaya,” he said.

PGM Veloso was joined at the awarding ceremony by GSIS Board Chairman Rodolfo Del Rosario Jr., Trustee Rita Riddle, and Undersecretary Atty. Avelino Tolentino of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

The national housing program is a very big task. It needs the help of everybody.

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