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Congress pressed to prioritize national housing financing bill


Congress was pressed to front-load passage of enabling laws to effectively “address homelessness” embodied in the pending National Housing Development, Production and Financing bill as soon as lawmakers reconvene regular sessions on July 27.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong”  Go, in a news statement issued on Tuesday, stressed the need for the Senate and the House of Representatives to facilitate enactment into law of pending remedial legislations embodied in Senate Bill 203 and Senate Bill 1227 crafted to “lessen housing problems in the country by providing means for Filipinos to have a home of their own, especially displaced families affected by incidents such as fire and disasters.”

SB 203, to be known as the National Housing Development, Production and Financing Act seeks to “significantly accelerate housing production and ensure sufficient reliable government funding and financing” for socialized housing, while SB 1227, or the Rental Subsidy Program Act, aims to “provide homes for displaced families and help them sustain their livelihoods by offering them various options during the interim process of construction and relocation.”

Go said responding to fire victims rendered homeless prompted the filing of the two remedial legislations. “Marami po akong napupuntahang mga nasunugan, nawalan po sila ng tirahan. Kailangan natin silang tulungang makabangon muli through low-cost housing programs and development, including the construction of safe and permanent evacuation centers, and housing assistance for fire victims,” the neophyte senator added.

He explained the two bills were filed to also address the goal to see that “no one” will be a squatter in the country under the Duterte administration. “Kaya ko po finile ang mga bills na ito dahil hangarin po natin na wala nang squatter sa ating sariling bayan. Gusto natin magkaroon ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino ng isang maayos at disenteng bahay,” Go said

The Senator added: “Importante po na magkaroon ng maayos na tirahan ang pamilyang Pilipino. Nakita naman po natin ang hirap ng buhay lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya. Kapag dikit-dikit ang bahay, hindi maayos ang sanitation, karamihan po informal settlers, mas madaling kumalat ang sakit.”

At the same time, Sen Go lamented how poor housing conditions in urban areas adversely affected efforts to control the Covid-19 pandemic, even as he vowed to support for an earlier Senate Bill 65 filed by Sen. Pia Cayetano, which mandates cities and communities to transition to sustainable cities and communities especially during this health crisis.

He stressed the need for the country to adopt “bold solutions that will address its problems especially those brought about by the coronavirus disease outbreak in the country.”

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