Duterte still looking for human settlements secretary

Published February 22, 2019, 8:47 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Argyll Geducos

President Duterte said he is still yet to find someone to lead the newly created Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

President Rodrigo Duterte (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte (SCREENSHOT / RTVM / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with Malacañang reporters, Duterte said he would still have to talk to the leaders of Congress so he can choose someone who will be welcomed.

“Wala pa (It has no secretary yet). That would be a long shot because that would also need the — I need to talk to Speaker [Gloria] Arroyo, Senator [Koko] Pimentel, and [Senate President] Tito Sotto,” he said.

“Mabuti na gusto nila ‘yung tao para (It’s better that they like the person so) he can receive the — a better reception, you know kung kilala nila ang tao (if they know the person),” he added.

The law creating the DHSUD was one of the 20 bills Duterte signed early this week. The DHSUD will be responsible for managing housing, human settlement and urban development.

It will also act as the sole and main planning and policy-making, regulatory, program coordination and performance monitoring entity for all housing and urban development concerns, primarily focusing on the access to and affordability of decent and secure shelter.

The DHSUD will be the result of the merged Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). It will also reconstitute the HLURB into the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission.

The new department will have supervision over the National Housing Authority (NHA), National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., Home Development Mutual Fund and the Social Housing Finance Corp.

It will also be composed of the Office of the Secretary, various bureaus, services and other regional offices.

According to Senator JV Ejercito, principal author of the law, the DHSUD is the “realization” of the dreams of Filipinos to have decent and proper housing.

“This agency will ensure the speedy and effective implementation of the government’s housing programs,” he said in a statement.

The DHSUD is seen to better address the housing backlog to accommodate more informal settlers and the poor implementation of existing housing laws.