The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) on Thursday said the Marcos administration is targeting to construct a million housing units per year to address the country’s housing backlogs, which could reach 10.9 million by the end of 2028.
During the budget hearing of DHSUD in the lower chamber, DHSUD Assistant Secretary for Support Services Avelino Tolentino revealed that by the end of 2022, the country would have accumulated housing needs of 6.5 million units.
“[Currently] we only address 17 percent of the Housing needs. If we project our housing needs estimate using the average growth rate of the population, with that 17 percent year-on-year, by the end of 2028 we will project the housing needs of 10.9 million,” Tolentino said.
Despite this problem, Tolentino said the public housing sector continuously receive low budgets in the past decade.
“In the past decade, the public housing sector received a small portion of the budget, the percentage of the housing sector is always below 1 percent of the national budget,” he said.
For 2023, DHSUD and its attached agencies will receive P4.049 billion lower than their P7.6 billion allocation for this year. Of the P4.049 billion, DHSUD will get P1.097 billion in 2023.
Tolentino said their original budget proposal for 2023 is P95.9 billion.
“The 2023 NEP of P4.049 billion is 48 percent lower than the 2022 housing sector budget, and only 4.2 percent of the 2023 public housing sector proposed budget,” he added.
The attached agencies of DHSUD are National Housing Authority (NHA), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), Human Development Mutual Fund, Home Guaranty Corp. and Human Settlement Adjudication Commission.
P36 billion amendments
Meanwhile, Tolentino asked members of the lower chamber to consider the P36-billion interest subsidy that the DSHUD is proposing.
“We would like to propose an amendment to the NEP, we are asking [lawmakers] to consider the P36 billion interest subsidy, which will change how we do housing production,” he added.
For his part, DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said the funding would not be an issue because the money for the housing projects stays within the banking system.
“We know that the government cannot afford to fund all of these [housing programs]. [And we are proposing that] we will use the money from banks. That’s why we are asking for a P36 billion interest subsidy. This P36 billion ang susunduin nyang pera sa banko at sa capital market ay P1 trillion and that’s the impact of P36 billion subsidy,” he said.
“A bank lends money to buyers to buy a house, buyers pays for the developer, developer pays contractors, contractors pay the suppliers for construction materials and labor, and suppliers and laborers deposit their money or spend them,” he added.
Acuzar also said the national government will tap the local government units for faster implementation of the housing programs.
“This [proposal] has been presented to the Palace and approved by the President. The President tasked us to complete the 1 million housing units per year to address the backlogs,” Acuzar added.
Acuzar said the Marcos administration is targeting to have zero informal settler families by 2028.