Lawmaker laments zero budget for mass housing

September 29, 2018

A SOLON has questioned the zero budget allocation for mass housing in the proposed 2019 national budget.

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas noted that not a single centavo was allocated for the construction of mass housing units intended for poor families.

Brosas reminded the government of the 5.7 million mass housing backlog.

“There is not a single centavo for the construction of mass housing units in the 2019 national budget despite the country’s 5.7 million housing backlog but there are billions allotted for pork barrel funds,” Brosas said.

“This brazen persistence of corruption combined with the neglect of the housing crisis by the government will surely fuel more occupations of idle public housing units and foment more protests among the growing ranks of the homeless,” Brosas added.

On Monday, the House of Representatives is scheduled to tackle the budget of agencies related to housing projects.

Vice Chairman of the Housing committee on appropriations Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas will defend on Monday the budget of National Housing Authority (NHA), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, Social Housing Finance Corporation, Home Guaranty Corporation; Housng and Urban Development Coordinating Council and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.

Based on the proposed National Expenditure Programs, these agencies will be given P2.8 billion for next year or a slash of 50 percent from this year’s budget of P5 billion.

For 2019, P360 million has been allocated for the National Housing Authority (NHA) or P2.9 billion lower than its budget this year. The NHA admitted during the pre-plenary budget hearing that a portion of this amount will be used for the resettlement of families to be affected by the Supreme Court mandamus on the Manila Bay coastal cleanup, which is technically for the demolition of communities. 

Meanwhile, P1.8 billion is allotted as housing loans dispersed across the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, Home Guaranty Corporation, and Social Housing and Finance Corporation.

The remainder of the P2.86 billion fund for “housing and community development” is allotted for the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) which are operating as GOCCs and are engaged in ventures with the private sector.