Expansion of housing policies sought

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BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) approved a resolution requesting all local government units in the region, through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-CAR), to expand the functions of local housing boards to include the implementation of comprehensive housing and urban development policies.

The RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR chaired by outgoing Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan stated  the local housing board in the context of Republic Act (RA) 7279 is a local body devoted to addressing shelter concerns through the formulation of the local shelter plans, development and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated housing and land development program of local governments in the context of building, adequate, livable, affordable and inclusive Filipino communities, a national shelter program aimed at providing a decent, affordable, disaster-resilient and climate change adoptive shelter with adequate facilities.

The RDC-CAR and the RPOC-CAR disclosed that only 49 out of the 77 municipalities in the Cordillera have established their local housing boards and in the context of Executive Order No. 708 and DILG Memorandum circular 2008-143 which is for the purpose of eviction of squatters and demolition of illegal structures.

RA 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 mandated local government units to undertake a comprehensive and continuing urban development and housing programs in their levels.

Further, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) prepared a local government guidebook for local housing project or program that recommended that local government units to create their own local housing boards to spearhead the implementation of their local shelter plans as basis for its comprehensive and integrated housing and land development program.

EO No. 708 also mandated local government units to create their own local housing boards or any similar body through an appropriate ordinance which shall assume the devolved functions of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) on the conduct of demolition and eviction activities.

On the other hand, DILG issued MC 2008-143 dated September 19, 2008 that contained the guidelines for the creation of local housing boards with regards to eviction and demolition activities.

The expansion shall not be limited to policy-making on shelter and urban development matters; ensure the implementation of urban development and housing strategies; assist the local governments in the preparation of local shelter plans and comprehensive land use plans; recommend in the identification of housing projects; assist local governments in the review and approval of subdivision plans; assist local governments in monitoring compliance to balanced housing; recommend the use and allocation of the special housing fund; act as on-stop shop processing center on housing permits; act as a clearing house for eviction and demolition and facilitate beneficiary selection and qualification of beneficiaries in the disposition of government properties. By Dexter A. See