PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.’s Executive Order (EO) 34, allotting idle government lands for housing projects, is a pro-poor measure that could spell the difference in finally addressing homelessness in the country.
The issuance of the order is very timely as the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), empowered by EO34 to identify government idle lands suitable for housing, is rolling out the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino (4PH) Program which was also declared as the administration’s flagship housing program.
DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said that EO 34 has direct positive impact to homeless Filipinos, particularly the informal settler families (ISFs), who are among President Marcos Jr.’s priority in the 4PH Program.
“Ang impact po ng EO 34 ay diretso sa mga kababayan nating mahihirap, mga ISFs, mga urban poor, minimum-wage earners, yung mga natutulog sa kalye, mga nasa esteros, sila po ang makikinabang dito,” Secretary Acuzar said.
He noted that no other Philippine president in recent memory has done what President Marcos Jr. did –directing all government agencies to allocate idle lands for housing.
“First time po ito sa kasaysayan ng pabahay sa ating bansa, wala po akong matandaan na administrasyon ang gumawa ng ganito. Patunay po ito na ang puso ng ating mahal na Pangulong Bongbong Marcos ay nasa mahihirap na Pilipino,” Secretary Acuzar said.
“Kaya sa ginawa po ng ating gobyerno, mas madali nating matutupad ang ating adhikain na walang Pilipinong walang bahay sa sariling bayan,” he added.
Executive Order 34 empowers the DHSUD to identify national and local government lands that are “suitable for housing and human settlements, including new townships and estates development, in coordination with concerned government agencies and local government units (LGUs).”
On the other hand, all concerned government agencies, LGUs and other government entities including government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) are mandated to “provide full support to and cooperation with the DHSUD to ensure the successful implementation of the program” through the mandatory submission of land inventories to DHSUD within 60 days from the issuance of the EO.
Acuzar said that the EO is a huge factor to significantly reduce the cost of housing units under the 4PH Program as a result of more utilizable lands – the most important component of the program.
“The allocation of idle government lands for housing will further bolster the ongoing nationwide implementation of Pambansang Pabahay. Ang kakulangan ng lupang mapapagtayuan ng disente at abot-kayang pabahay ay isa po sa mga hamon na ating kinakaharap ngayon, kaya malaking bagay poi tong EO34,” said the Secretary.