Vice President Jejomar C. Binay cited Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (UDHA) as an effective tool of the government in providing security of housing tenure for the poor.

Binay, who chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) said the UDHA was instrumental in the reforms made in the housing sector to benefit the poor particularly the informal-settler families (ISFs).

“UDHA united all the stakeholders of the housing sector paving the way for the delivery of socialized housing to the informal-settlers,” Binay said during the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the UDHA.

“Hindi lamang pagkakataon kundi karapatan ng mga urban poor na magkaroon ng sariling lupa at bahay ang ibinigay ng batas na ito,” he added.

Under the law, housing developers are required to provide at least twenty percent of the total main subdivision area or at least 20 percent of the total project cost for socialized housing.

According to the Vice President, since 1992 around 350,000 socialized housing units were constructed in compliance to the 20 percent balanced housing requirement. This is on top of the 215,000 ISFs who benefitted from the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) projects of the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) covering the same period. The cost of the CMP projects is equivalent to 9.3 billion pesos.

Binay also led the awarding of 88 titles to CMP beneficiaries in Metro Manila and another 45 titles to beneficiaries of the National Government Center-West housing project in Quezon City who have completed payment of their housing loan obligations.

During the event, a representative of landowner J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc., received a check amounting P4,731,905.42. The amount represents the payment for their property acquired by Taytay Hills HOA through CMP.

“Because of UDHA, the government can boast of significant accomplishments. We were able to maximize our resources for the benefit of the poor such as the utilization of government idle lands for socialized housing,” Binay said.

The Vice President, however, acknowledged that a lot still needs to be done to fully realize the benefits provided for under the UDHA.

“Marami pa tayong dapat gawin. Kailangang lubos na maipatupad pa ang mga nakasaad sa UDHA. At magagawa lamang natin ito sa tulong ninyo at ng ating mga local government units (LGUs),” Binay said.

“Isa lang po ang sinisiguro ko sa inyo: kami po sa mga ahensyang pabahay ay laging handang umalalay sa inyo,” he added.

Under the UDHA, LGUs are tasked to lead the implementation of housing programs in their localities. He cited HUDCC’s Pabahay Caravan as a venue where key shelter agencies can assist LGUs in the realization of their housing projects.

Binay also said that the HUDCC, at present, is developing a National Slum Upgrading Strategy (NSUS) and an “alpha listing for beneficaries”.

The former aims to guide the national government and local government units in the preparation and implementation of effective policies and programs on slum upgrading while the latter is expected to prevent professional squatters and squatting syndicates from victimizing legitimate housing beneficiaries.

HUDCC also aims to adopt an enhanced National Resettlement Policy Framework (NRPF) that would identify common procedures and guidelines among all infrastructure agencies, the housing agencies, the local government units, and other government agencies, in the implementation of government housing projects.