Press Release
February 14, 2023

Hontiveros receives recognition for support for public housing, urges gov't to provide housing to millions of homeless Pinoys

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday received recognition for her support for public housing and urban development initiatives, as she urged the government to work together to reduce its housing backlog and provide millions of homeless Filipinos with access to public housing.

Hontiveros, along with Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito and Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo "Albee" Benitez, was one of the individuals recognized by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) for their role in the creation of the DHSUD and support for human settlements and urban development programs, during the department's fourth anniversary rites.

In her message before DHSUD officials and employees, Hontiveros said that the country should act swiftly to reduce the so-called "housing backlog" and provide decent and affordable housing especially for the families of the estimated 4.5 million Filipinos considered homeless, as per government data.

"Susi ang pabahay sa mas magandang buhay. Yan po ang dahilan kung bakit natin sinuportahan ang pagtayo ng DHSUD, at kung bakit patuloy nating sinusuportahan ang DHSUD at ang buong public housing sector sa pamamagitan ng sapat na pagpondo at mas epektibong mga polisiya," Hontiveros said.

"Ang maayos na pabahay ay pinakamataas na pangarap ng marami sa ating kababayan, lalo ng mga pamilyang tinuturing na urban poor, o yung mga pamilyang apektado ng government projects, o yung mga laging biktima ng pagbaha o ibang sakuna. Bawat pamilya na magkakaroon ng maayos na pabahay ay hindi na magiging biktima ng eviction, ng demolition, at ng desperasyon at takot na dala ng kawalan ng maayos na lilipatan," she added.

According to Hontiveros, she will continue to support the DHSUD and the entire public housing and urban development sector within and outside the Senate. Particularly, she said that she was willing to join DHSUD Secretary Jose Acuzar in talks with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to ensure ample funding for projects like the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program (4PH), as well as additional funding in the PAGIBIG Fund to provide housing for families displaced by government projects and calamities.

Likewise, Hontiveros also committed to help ensure greater public participation in the policy making and decision making process of the DHSUD and other shelter agencies. "Ang pinakamahalagang stakeholder ng ating housing programs natin ay ang mamamayan, lalo na ang mga kababayan nating direktang makikinabang sa pabahay na ating ipinaglalaban," she said.

"Marami pang trabaho at hamon ang kailangang harapin ng DHSUD sa mga darating na buwan at taon. Makakaasa kayo na patuloy niyo akong makakasama sa laban para sa maayos na pabahay para sa bawat pamilya," Hontiveros said.

The senator is one of the co-sponsors of the DHSUD Act, which created the department, when it was passed by the Senate in 2018 and later signed into law in 2019 as Republic Act 11201. She also heads the Senate Finance Subcommittee which aims to provide adequate annual funding for the DHSUD and flagship government housing and urban development projects. ###

VIDEO LINK:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u_8qsKEAzESekFMe-Cy5-WhS9RRGrHkK/view?usp=share_link

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