PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. DUTERTE — PHILSTAR/JOVEN CAGANDE
By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday said his administration will be carrying out urban land reform in Metro Manila.
“Dito na naman ako sa urban land reform. Pinakamatindi dito sa Maynila. Ngayon, kung may mahanap kayo na lupa na medyo malaki at wala pang development, sabihin ninyo sa akin. Kasi i-expropriate ko ‘yan, pilit bilihin ko ‘yan sa may-ari at gagawa tayo ng ating mga bahay,” Mr. Duterte said at a campaign rally on Tuesday in Malabon City, where he also promised permanent settlements for informal settlers. (I will now focus on urban land reform. Manila’s problem is the worst. Now, if you find a piece of land that is large enough and has yet to be developed, let me know because I will expropriate it. I will try to purchase it from the owner, so we can build houses).
In a statement, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said there “will be 500 housing units soon to be released to Malabon City residents.”
The President said Malabon City Vice Mayor Jeannie Sandoval has been contacting him regarding the city’s needs.
“Si Jeannie…ito lang ‘yung may access sa akin. Pupunta sa akin doon, sinasabi niya ‘yung problema niya,” he said. (Jeannie is the only one who has access to me. She comes to me to tell me her problems).
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Eduardo D. del Rosario told BusinessWorld last February that with the creation of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), the next area of focus will be “addressing the housing needs” of Filipinos, especially the poor.
The President signed the law creating the DHSUD on Feb. 14, and it will be followed by another proposed law which aims to address the housing needs of around 2 million informal settler families nationwide, according to Mr. del Rosario.
“If that is pursued and become a Republic Act, we are envisioning to have a budget of P50 billion per year for 20 years; because to construct 2 million housing units, we need P1 trillion more or less. In the next four to 20 years, we are targeting that,” Mr. del Rosario said.
In February, Mr. Duterte also issued Executive Order No. 75 directing all government agencies to identify state properties “suitable for” agricultural use “for the purpose of eventual distribution to qualified beneficiaries.”