HUDCC rues declining, all-time low housing sector budget
MANILA, Philippines – The budget for the housing sector is at an all-time low in 2019, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) revealed Monday.
In a Senate committee on urban planning, housing, and resettlement hearing, HUDCC Director Zacharias Abañes revealed that the housing sector was only allocated P3 billion for 2019.
He noted the “decreasing trend” of budget allocation for housing in recent years.
“Starting from 2017 up to 2019, it shows that there is a decreasing trend in the allocation for the housing sector from P15.3 billion in 2017 to P5.5 billion in 2018 and then P3 billion in 2019,” Abañes bared.
“This is the lowest allocation for the housing sector which only accounts to .08 percent of the total annual budget,” he added.
Abañes also revealed that the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) recommended budget for the housing sector for 2020 is P6.297 billion, a “significant reduction” from the HUDCC’s recommended total budget of about P49 billion.
He pointed out that the DBM – recommended budget is only 13 percent of the HUDCC’s proposed budget, and 0.15 percent of the DBM-proposed total budget for 2020.
This could result to the reduction of housing units productions from the original target of 101,039 units to 12,169 units, Abañes said.
HUDCC chairman Eduardo del Rosario lamented the low budget amid the creation of the new Department of Housing and Urban Development (DSHUD).
“We have some needs that must be addressed. What’s the point of having a department, if the budget allocated is very very low?,” Del Rosario said in the hearing.
“If the Philippine development plan (PDP) 2017-2022 will be fully observed fully, it means that we couldn’t achieve our target because we need about P50 billion per year in order to attain the desire of the PDP,” he added.
Senator Francis Tolentino, who chairs the Senate committee urban planning, housing, and resettlement, said the panel would ask the DBM to explain the budget reduction.
“Masalimuot ito, 30 years trinabaho [‘yung batas], pero ‘yung pag-i-implement na, ‘yun ang mahirap. The committee is here to assist the newly-born department to function,” Tolentino told reporters in an interview.
The committee also set a November deadline for the HUDCC to provide an inventory of all available public lands in the country. /gsg