The country’s housing sector remained steadfast in providing decent, safe, and resilient shelters to all Filipinos despite the adverse impact of the pandemic on the economy.
In a statement on Friday, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo del Rosario noted that housing production has increased by up to 15 percent since 2016.
Del Rosario lamented though that production slowed down when the health crisis struck last year.
“But surprisingly, ngayong 2021, figures showed na tumaas na tayo at nataasan na natin ang 2019 (this 2021, figures show that we have surpassed the rate in 2019) for the first semester,” he said.
Del Rosario said the housing department remains committed to its mandate amid the pandemic as “many Filipinos opt to buy housing units than saving their money in banks.”
He said the DHSUD pushed through with various interventions to assist developers affected by the prevailing health crisis.
“Very vibrant ang housing sector ngayong 2021 at ginawa po natin ito na matulungan ang housing developers. So nagkaroon tayo ng extensions sa completion ng kanilang trabaho and last year, nagsulong tayo ng mga interventions para makapag-resume sila sa kanilang konstruksyon (We have a very vibrant housing sector this year and we did it to help our housing developers. We extended the completion of their works and last year, we pushed through with several interventions to enable them to resume construction),” he said.
As part of the DHSUD’s response to the health crisis, its key shelter agencies, including the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG Fund, National Housing Authority, Social Housing Finance Corp., and National Home Mortgage Finance Corp., implemented a five-month moratorium on loan payments.
Del Rosario likewise pushed for the resumption of real estate activities, with strict compliance on health protocols, opening job opportunities in the construction industry.
The department also strengthened its partnership with the private sector in crafting improved policies and regulations in the housing sector, he said.
“The Pag-IBIG Fund, for instance, reported PHP16.1 billion in earnings from January to June this year – up by 14 percent compared to 2020 figures,” he added.
Del Rosario cited the need to invest more in the housing industry “so we can sustain its vibrancy.”
The housing czar has been a strong advocate for the relocation of informal settler families residing in danger zones to decent and resilient communities. (PNA)