NEGROS Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez said the country is facing a serious problem on the lack of decent housing as 57 percent of the Filipinos are still homeless.
Benitez, chairs of the House committee on housing and urban resettlement, spoke Friday before the more 500 delegates of the 39th National Convention of the Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines (Rebap) Inc. held at L’ Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City.
He said the government has to settle the problem because this has created a community of renters due to high cost of owning a house.
“And who is responsible for this in finding solution? Nobody has realized that a lot of our people cannot afford a housing unit because the cost to buy one is quite unaffordable to the middle class earners, and the increase in the cost of real properties grow fast,” he added.
Benitez said he is confident that with the passage of the law creating the Department of Housing hopefully by next year, this serious problem will be addressed.
He added that it took nine Congresses or 27 years to push for the creation of the Department of Housing.
“There were instances that it was passed by the Lower House and then the House of Senate did not approve it, so this important legislation became dormant,” Benitez said.
With the passage of this major legislation, the proposed establishment of public housing, using government owned properties can best address the lack of decent homes for Filipinos, he added.
Benitez said he will push for the utilization of government-owned properties for public housing.
In Metro Manila alone, the government owns about 3,400 hectares of land which is sufficient to accommodate about 600,000 families, he noted.
“It’s high time that we provide our people decent and dignified homes to make this country a better place to live in,” Benitez added.