Press Release
May 13, 2020

Bong Go calls for renewed support for the National Housing Development, Production and Financing Bill to help poor and homeless Filipinos

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has brought into the open a perennial problem in the Philippines, particularly in metropolitan areas, such as Metro Manila. Lack of decent housing leads to an increase in the urban poor population and informal settlers in cramped living quarters, often prone to fire, and constraints in the delivery of basic services, particularly health.

Citing the need to eradicate homelessness in the country, Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go called for renewed support for a bill he has filed last July 2019 which aims to provide continuous funding support for a large scale pro-poor housing program in the country.

Senate Bill No. 203, entitled "National Housing Development, Production and Financing (NHDPF) Act of 2019", aims to institutionalize a program to address the housing needs of Filipinos by generating and mobilizing sustainable funds for housing, and encouraging public and private sector participation in the said program. The Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement has already conducted its first committee hearing on the bill last year.

"Bilang mambabatas, naniniwala ako na walang dapat maging squatter sa sariling bayan," Go said.

Go earlier said that he recognized the need for a nationwide housing roadmap to ensure that every Filipino can have decent housing. This is the reason why he filed the NHDPF bill that seeks to reduce the country's housing backlog. The proposed law aims to provide continuous funding support to implement major components of the National Housing Development, Production and Financing Program even beyond the Duterte Administration.

The Senator again called for support for the legislation, acknowledging that many Filipinos want to relocate back to their home provinces after the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Nananawagan po ako sa mga kapwa kong mambabatas na suportahan ang NHDPF Act. Naniniwala ako na makakatulong din ito sa ating mga kababayan na gustong umuwi sa kanilang mga probinsya pagkatapos ng COVID-19 pandemic," Go said.

As the proponent of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program, Go said that the NHDPF bill will complement the housing component of the BP2 program in the medium to long term as Filipinos who will voluntarily return home to their provinces to start life anew shall need sufficient housing.

According to the BP2 Program Council Executive Director and National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada, Jr., beneficiaries of BP2 program who wish to relocate to their provinces will be able to receive livelihood and housing assistance.

Senator Go also took the opportunity to call on relevant housing agencies, such as the NHA and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development to conduct a thorough inventory of unoccupied housing units and available lands intended for housing development nationwide to prepare for the BP2 program's medium- to long-term phase.

Under the proposed NHDPF bill, the NHA will be the lead agency tasked to develop and implement various types of housing programs intended for the bottom 30% of the income population. Some of these programs are resettlements, housing programs for low-salaried government employees, settlements upgrading, housing programs of calamity victims, and land banking.

"Hinahangad natin na wala nang maging squatter sa sariling bayan. Bigyan natin ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino ng isang maayos at disenteng bahay," Go said.

"Magtulungan tayo na magkaroon ng maganda at komportableng buhay ang bawat Pilipino at mabigyan sila ng bagong pag-asa pagkatapos ng krisis na dulot ng COVID-19," Go added.

News Latest News Feed