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National Shelter Month: Affordable homes for Pinoys
TEEMING with a “renewed drive” to provide Filipinos – especially low-income earners – with affordable, resilient, and safe homes of their own.
This was how the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) wrapped up this year’s National Shelter Month (NSM) on Thursday.
The renewed enthusiasm was made especially fervent as the monthlong celebration highlighted the promotion of the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino: Zero ISF 2028 Program, the flagship housing program of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. (PBBM).
Themed “Abot-kayang pabahay tungo sa panatag na buhay,” this year’s NSM culminated with a program focused on the official inauguration of the DHSUD Building and a press conference.
Presiding over the unveiling ceremony of the institutional marker were Housing Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, DHSUD Executive Committee members, heads of the department’s key shelter agencies (KSAs) and other officials.
To recall, Mayor Benitez, then serving as a representative in the 17th Congress, sponsored Republic Act (RA) 11201 together with Senator Joseph Victor Estrada, effectively giving birth to the DHSUD on Feb. 14, 2019.
The official inauguration of the building symbolized the DHSUD’s reassurance to “stand strong in fulfilling President Marcos’ vow to address the country’s housing needs, by building one million houses per year,” or six million housing units by the end of his term.
The unveiling of the building marker was followed by a short closing ceremony in which Acuzar expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support of Mayor Benitez, the KSAs, local government leaders, the private sector, and other stakeholders.
The DHSUD, under PBBM’s national housing program, has already broken ground in seven locations across the country and has signed 14 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with various LGUs (local government units) for the imminent construction of more housing units.
In his first three months, Acuzar has also successfully engaged the private sector, particularly the developers, into actively participating in DHSUD efforts to shape a brighter future for the housing and urban development sector.
“Tulad po ng lagi nating sinasabi, kung tayo’y sama-sama, magagawa nating makapagpatayo ng isang milyong bahay kada taon para sa mga maralita nating kababayan. Together, we will close the country’s housing backlog,” Acuzar said, adding: “This will be our mantra in the next six years. Wala pong bibitaw hanggang magkaroon ng disenteng pabahay ang lahat ng pamilyang Pilipino.”
The DHSUD secretary aptly closed this year’s NSM by reiterating that it is not merely a celebration showcasing its accomplishments as well as that of its KSAs, but a witness to their full-pledged commitment to catapult the sector forward by truly providing Filipinos with affordable, decent, and sustainable homes in resilient communities: “Walang Pilipinong walang tahanan sa sariling bayan.”