(File photo)

BACOLOD CITY – Barely weeks after the signing of memorandums of understanding (MOU), the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) on Sept. 30 broke ground on three housing sites in the cities of Bacolod, Roxas and Iloilo.

The groundbreaking ceremonies signaled the roll out of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s “Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program: Zero ISF (informal settler family) 2028” in the Visayas Region.

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar said this indicates the Marcos administration’s solid commitment to help realize the dream of every Filipino family, particularly the ISFs and low-income earners, to have a house of their own.

“Patunay din po ito sa sinseridad ng ating mahal na Pangulong Bongbong Marcos sa kanyang pagnanais na maiahon ang ating mga kababayan sa kahirapan, sa pamamagitan ng ating Pambansang Pabahay para sa (This is proof of President Bongbong Marcos’s sincerity to lift our countrymen out of poverty through our housing program for) Pilipino Program: Zero ISF 2028,” Acuzar said in a news release on Sunday.

“Sa ilalim ng programang ito, iniutos ng ating Pangulo ang paggawa ng isang milyong pabahay taun-taon sa susunod na anim na taon ng kanyang administrasyon –yan ay upang masolusyunan ang (Under this program, the President ordered the construction of one million housing units every year in the next six years of his administration – that’s to solve) housing backlog of 6.5 million housing units,” he added.

On Friday morning, Acuzar joined Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez and other DHSUD and local government officials in breaking ground at the project site in Barangay Vista Alegre. The project is primarily for ISFs living along danger zones.

A MOU was also signed with Mayor Javi Benitez of Victorias City for a possible housing project.

Team DHSUD then proceeded to Roxas City afterwards for another groundbreaking event with Mayor Ronnie Dadivas and other LGU officials in Barangay 7.

In the afternoon, Acuzar, along with ranking DHSUD officials, went to Iloilo City for the groundbreaking in Uswag Village, San Isidro in Jaro with Mayor Jerry Trenas.

“In our quest to build one million houses every year in the next six years, we hope to address the country’s housing backlog currently pegged at 6.5 million. This will not be easy but is definitely possible as we are already making significant strides in making this happen,” Acuzar said.

“These groundbreaking ceremonies are clear manifestations that we are on the right track,” he added.

The three projects were facilitated by newly-appointed DHSUD Undersecretary Jose Ramon Aliling, supported by Regional Office 6, led by OIC-Director Eva Maria Marfil. The DHSUD entered into MOUs with the said LGUs in the first week of September.

Team DHSUD ended the day with a visit and brief meeting with Calape, Bohol Mayor Julius Ceasar Herrera for possible housing projects in the area.

Acuzar said, “Totoo po na challenging ang direktiba ng ating Pangulo, pero ito po ay posible –basta magsama-sama at magtulong-tulong ang national government thru DHSUD, local government, ang private sector at syempre kayo na ordinaryong mamamayan (The directive of the President is challenging but it is possible for as long as we will work together the national government will help each other through DHSUD, local government, private sector and of course, the ordinary people).” (PR)