AN ORGANIZATION of the urban poor was protesting to the appointment of Vice President Jejomar Binay as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

In a statement, the Urban Poor Associates (UPA) admitted that they are not comfortable with the appointment of the former Makati City mayor and asked President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino of his basis in appointing Binay.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

“There is considerable consternation about the appointment among the urban poor and non-government organizations,” the group said in a statement.

The group however stressed that they are not out to fight with the new HUDCC chairman and are still hopeful he would do well in his capacity as housing czar.

“We want to see improvements or changes in the HUDCC with more consultation and participation with the poor in solving housing problems,” said the UPA.

UPA is an organization campaigning for the protection of housing rights and the prevention of forced evictions and illegal demolitions.

Last Thursday, Binay has accepted the offer of Aquino to take charge of the country’s housing sector.

The decision came after the vice president declined other posts such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Department of Agrarian Reform, and the chairmanship of the Truth Commission.

Binay said he is now looking forward to building “not just homes” but “sustainable communities” for Filipinos.

Binay’s first day

On his first day as the country’s housing czar, Binay said he will look into the organizational set-up of the HUDCC, the body tasked with implementing the National Shelter Program.

“I have to know first the organizational setup. How is the decision-making, as you know, the different agencies have their own boards of directors. Titingnan ko muna yung mga mechanics ng papasukang kong trabaho,” Binay said.

Binay said he was convinced to accept the post by the agency’s main function, saying "It was really intended to be pro-poor, so the beneficiaries would be the poor Filipinos."

He added that he appreciated the warm welcome he received from Malacañang. “I am grateful for the President’s trust.”

In accepting the post, Binay reiterated his position that though they belonged to different political parties, he is always prepared to work with Aquino in attaining his goals.

“I have always maintained that I am ready to be of assistance to our President in attaining his vision for our country and our people,” he said. (AH/sunnex)