(PNA photo by Ben Briones)

MANILA – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the Quezon City government on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a housing project in the city, marking the official kickoff of the Marcos administration's housing program.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar and Mayor Joy Belmonte signed the pact for the construction of the project that will soon rise in Harmony Hills Terraces in Barangay Batasan Hills which was immediately followed by groundbreaking rites.

The project is in line with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s aim of addressing the country's housing backlog by providing a safe, decent, and sustainable shelter to 6.5 million families in six years.

Mahalaga po ang kooperasyon ng bawat isa para makamtan natin ang ginhawa na pinapangako ng proyektong ito. Umaasa po kami sa DHSUD na magiging kasangga namin kayo simula ngayon hanggang sa kahuli-hulihang bubong na ating ipagkakaloob para masiguro na may bahay ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino (The cooperation of everyone is important for us to achieve the comfort promised by this project. We at the DHSUD are hoping that you will be our partners as we embark on these projects until we turn over the last piece of shelter to a beneficiary as we want to ensure that every Filipino family will have a home),” Acuzar said, referring to the Pambansang Pabahay Para Sa Pilipino: Zero ISF Program for 2028 of the Marcos administration.

The program aims to build 1 million housing units per year.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be the President’s emissary in sending this good news to our kababayans here in Quezon City, and in the country as a whole – unti-unti na pong matutupad ang pangarap ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino na nagnanais magkaroon ng sariling bahay, sa pamamagitan po ng Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program (the dream of every Filipino family to have their own homes through the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Program will gradually come to fruition),” Acuzar added.

The city government, meanwhile, committed to allocating and securing for the DHSUD parcels of land for the development of various housing projects.

“The MOA signing solidified our previous agreement to work hand-in-hand in building houses for the city’s residents, especially the ISFs (informal settler families),” said Belmonte, adding that through this agreement they hope to build many housing projects that will benefit Quezon City residents, especially those who cannot afford a home.

The MOU mandates the DHSUD to facilitate, either directly or through its key shelter agencies (KSAs), the implementation of the housing projects in collaboration with the LGU and other relevant agencies.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City government is tasked to expedite the processing of required permits and licenses to be issued by local authorities for the project’s full implementation. It will also carry out the beneficiary listing which will include social preparation, ISF census enumeration, socioeconomic profiling and the establishment of social parameters.

Acuzar likewise enjoined other partners in LGUs, the private sector and concerned government institutions to help the DHSUD in fulfilling the administration’s priority housing program.

Aside from the collaboration with the Quezon City government, the DHSUD also secured during the same event a partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

The DHSUD and DBP likewise signed an MOU mandating the financial institution to formulate a loan program focused on providing real estate developmental loans in support of the agency’s housing projects.

For its part, however, the DHSUD is directed to identify project funding requirements where the participation of DBP is crucial and assist it in the preparation of necessary documents for the implementation of the formulated lending program. (PNA)