De Lima urges swift passage of bill on rent subsidy for informal settlers

Published June 18, 2021, 5:13 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Friday called on the Senate to expedite the passage of the bill that seeks to grant rent subsidy to informal settler families (ISFs).

De Lima made the call as she expressed elation that this particular measure has been approved by the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement.

“I hope that my honorable colleagues will recognize the urgency of passing measures that will cushion or mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic and the economic crisis among our people,” De Lima said in a statement.

“The need to uphold and protect people’s right to housing cannot be any more pronounced than today. Housing in these troubled times, after all, has become the frontline defense against the coronavirus,” she added.

“The enactment of this measure is a step forward in ensuring that people’s right to access adequate, secure, habitable, sustainable, resilient, and affordable housing is upheld,” the senator stressed.

The Senate housing panel, chaired by Sen. Francis Tolentino, earlier approved the various proposals to aid ISFs whose relocation were delayed due to calamities by granting them monthly housing subsidies.

Tolentino approved in particular, Senate Bill Nos. 1843, 1767, 1227 filed respectively by Senators De Lima, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Christopher “Bong” Go.

In filing the bill, De Lima sought to aid both lessors and tenants by extending lines of credit from government-accredited financial institutions, instituting a moratorium on evictions and establishing rental assistance centers.

“Renters and lessors must not emerge from the pandemic overburdened with housing related debt as a result of financial and economic circumstances created by the COVID-19 crisis,” she said.

“This measure would provide a more stable and long-term solution to the plight being faced by both lessors and tenants,” added the lawmaker.