Institutionalization of PH housing program pushed

May 22, 2024 People's Journal 72 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go is advocating for the institutionalization of the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino (4PH) Program, a flagship program of the Marcos administration. The initiative aims to alleviate the severe housing backlog that plagues the nation.

Go has filed Senate Bill No. 2108 which seeks to institutionalize the 4PH Program. This bill envisions a comprehensive approach to housing, incorporates sustainable and affordable measures, and makes housing projects accessible to those most in need.

“For the longest time, we have seen the disheartening sight of informal settlements in our country. Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nakatira sa mga barong-barong, walang maayos na bubong at palikuran, at palaging may pangamba na sila ay mapalayas,” Go lamented, highlighting the harsh realities faced by many Filipinos living in substandard conditions.

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) reports a daunting housing deficit of 6.75 million units, a figure projected to balloon to 22 million units by 2040 without immediate action.

Go emphasized that this issue extends beyond mere statistics, representing families struggling daily for stability, security, and hope. “Addressing this backlog is not merely a matter of infrastructure. It is about restoring dignity, promoting social justice, and fostering inclusive growth.”

“Ang disenteng pabahay ay isang batayang karapatang pantao,” Go asserted, underscoring the fundamental human right to decent housing.

He elaborated on the multifaceted benefits of providing stable housing, which include enhancing health, improving education outcomes, and expanding economic opportunities.

“When we address housing inadequacies, we pave the way for better health, improved education, and greater economic opportunities for all,” he added.

Go’s proposed measure also includes provisions for community facilities, green spaces, and essential services, aiming to create not just homes but thriving, resilient communities.

“Let us not forget the stories of our kababayans who dream of a better future for their children,” said Go.

“Let us be inspired by their resilience and be driven by the belief that every Filipino deserves a place to call home, dahil hangarin po natin na wala nang informal settlers sa ating sariling bayan, at nais lang po natin ay magkaroon ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino ng isang maayos at disenteng pamamahay,” Go urged his colleagues.

On Monday, May 20, the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing, and Resettlement, chaired by Senator JV Ejercito, conducted a public hearing on the measure. Both Go and Ejercito believes that institutionalizing the 4PH Program will ensure consistent and sustainable funding for affordable and decent housing for underprivileged and homeless citizens.

In a bid to bolster this initiative, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had previously issued Executive Order No. 34, declaring the 4PH Program as a government flagship program. This directive instructed all government agencies to identify suitable lands for the program.