The government would prefer building high-rise housing units instead of replicating the BLISS mid-rise housing program in the 1980s to address the country’s backlog and catch up with the rising need for decent shelter, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Monday.
Speaking during the ceremonial turnover of house and lot units from the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Naic, Cavite, the President noted there was a shortfall of some 3.5 million housing units when he was a senator from 2010 to 2016.
The NHA also granted certificates of eligibility for lot awards (CELAs) to 30,000 qualified beneficiaries under the shelter program of the Marcos administration.
When he assumed the presidency, Mr. Marcos said the shortfall of housing units was at 6.5 million based on government estimates.
According to the President, the government may replicate the Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS) project during his father’s administration from the 60s to the mid-80s, which spearheaded the construction of mid-rise housing units, particularly in urban areas.
“But at present, because times are tough, we might build them higher (than mid-rise). We could bring it all the way up to high-rise (level).
However, we are still studying the possibility, maybe case-to-case,” the President said.
Mr. Marcos, along with NHA general manager Joeben Tai, spearheaded the awarding ceremony to the informal settler families affected by a Supreme Court mandamus to rehabilitate Manila Bay, and to remove ISFs living along danger areas, and those affected by government infrastructure projects.
Tai said he wanted to fast track the occupancy of the vacant houses to give more Filipino families a home of their own, especially before Christmas Day.
The government is finding a way to organize different entities such as the local government units, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, NHA, legislature, and the national government to find a solution to the country’s increasing need for more shelters, the chief executive pointed out.
Also in his speech, the President directed the NHA to continue fulfilling its mandate and ensure that families receiving new homes are provided with means of livelihood.
To ensure the safety of the recipients, the President asked the agency to build shelters that are strong enough to withstand the threat posed by natural calamities.
The new housing units will serve as home to some 30,000 Filipino families this Christmas as President Marcos led Monday’s ceremonial turnover of house and lot units from the NHA, which was simultaneously conducted all over the country.
Addressing the beneficiaries, the President asked them to take care of and value their new homes and help improve their new community.
President Marcos also asked for the cooperation of the LGU and the private sector to ensure the well-being of the beneficiaries in their new environment.
Present during the event were DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., NHA General Manager Joeben Tai, Sen. Francis Tolentino, Cavite 8th District Rep. Aniela Bianca Tolentino, Cavite 2nd District Rep. Lani Revilla, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, Vice Governor Athena Bryana Tolentino, and Naic Mayor Raffy Dualan.
Earlier on Thursday, the President encouraged the NHA and other concerned agencies and stakeholders to continue providing the public with shelters as well as to give them opportunities for employment.
Under the Marcos administration, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development’s (DHSUD) Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino program aims to build one million housing units every year or a total of six million housing units within the six years of the present government.