Binay seeks creation of housing department

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay proposed over the weekend the creation of the Department of Housing that will consolidate the government’s housing program.

Binay said that the government must consolidate the housing program of the country and integrate all its resources.

He told participants of the Bayanihan Expo 2012 last Saturday that the private sector and the government institutionalized the Filipino tradition of bayanihan or community effort to enable the government to address the three-million backlog in housing until 2016, when President Aquino’s term ends.

“We must institutionalize this kind of partnership, this coming together of hearts and minds from the various sectors of housing. That is why I have been putting forward the idea of a Department of Housing,” said Binay, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Pag-IBIG Fund.

He said Gawad Kalinga, the private group that helps provide low-cost housing, gets assistance from the National Housing Authority (NHA) to help in engineering plans and site development plan.

“Whenever possible, NHA can help in the land development as well. The possibilities for collaboration are endless when the spirit driving this campaign is bayanihan,” Binay added.

Binay said partnerships between the government and the private sector must be totally harnessed.

“It is as simple as: everyone gives help when someone needs it. But everyone gives help not just because one may also need it in the future. It is strength in numbers, yes, because bayanihan thrives in numbers. But they give help because they can and they have something to give, without hope of getting something in return,” Binay said.

He said Filipinos thrive individually and collectively because “we work together and not against each other.

“We work together not against nature that surrounds and sustains us. We thrive because we share and not work against life – man, beast, leaf or flower,” Binay said.

Binay cited the beneficiaries at Bayanihan Village Phase I in Cagayan de Oro City.

“They were, as you know, victims of typhoon ‘Sendong’ and now the recipients of completed housing units in a new community at Barangay Makapaya, Camaman-An, Cagayan de Oro City,” Binay said.

“There will be similar relocation communities in Cagayan de Oro as well as in Iligan City, the two places most devastated by Sendong. And it is nothing short of a miracle that I was there witnessing our people’s happy faces, the visible return of hope to their lives,” Binay added.

Binay thanked the San Miguel Group of Companies, Pilipinas Shell, Banco de Oro, and SM Malls for responding quickly and generously to the shelter needs of the Sendong victims in CDO and Iligan.

“You all know it is never enough to say thank you, but come and share our joy and fulfillment at being able to help, but share too the joy and hope of those we have helped,” Binay said.

“As the families move into their homes in safe, beautiful and productive GK communities, we celebrate the bayanihan spirit that transforms tragedies into opportunities. Yes, we can be our brothers’ keeper and yes, we can partner with each other in building our nation – whether in rebuilding from the ruins of disaster or simply continuing to build housing towards a better future,” Binay added.

Binay said his vision is to provide not just houses but homes, not just relocation sites and neighborhoods but communities.

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Mimosa Golf Estate, Clark Field (Clark Airbase), Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines
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