MANILA – At least a PHP50-billion budget is needed per year to meet the country's housing demands for Filipinos, according to Department for Human Settlement and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario on Wednesday.
During the Laging Handa press briefing, del Rosario said the DHSUD is determined to address the issues of informal settler families (ISFs), particularly those residing in the danger zones and other flood-prone areas to reduce casualties during calamities.
Del Rosario cited the challenging part in fulfilling their task of providing decent and safer houses to ISFs due to budget constraints.
"Actually, we requested about PHP70 billion na suporta para sa (support for) Department for Human Settlement and Urban Development at saka aming limang (and our five) attached agencies. Unfortunately, with PHP71 billion request ang naibigay lang po sa amin ay (we only got) PHP6 billion, even less 10 percent of what we need," he said.
Despite the inadequate budget provision, del Rosario said DHSUD has remained steadfast in providing decent, safe, and resilient shelters for all Filipinos.
"In our assessment for us to meet our housing needs of 6.5 million, we needed at least PHP50 billion a year. So, kung kami nabibigyan ng average (we are only given budget averaging) to PHP4 to PHP5 billion every year since 2016," he said. "That's why almost every year, we are requesting more or less PHP70 to PHP77 billion at ang nakukuha naman (and we are receiving fund) ranges from to PHP4 to PHP6 billion only."
Del Rosario said the DHSUD is doing its best to capacitate the low-income families "to be able to purchase a house and lot of their own dream house."
"We consider shelter as a right of every Filipino family," he said.
He also hopes that every Filipino will be given a chance to feel "physical security and comfort in their respective homes."
Del Rosario stressed the need to relocate ISFs into safer places which can greatly contribute to building more resilient communities in the Philippines. (PNA)