Council wants socialized housing program beefed up

THE Baguio City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance creating an Urban Development Housing Fund to support a socialized housing program in the city.

Authored by Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr., the ordinance states the City Government should allot some P10 million from the general fund to bankroll the implementation of the city’s socialized housing program beneficial to the poor.

The legislative measure mandates the appropriation of additional funding from the supplemental budget or from any available fund source in order for the city to support the housing needs of the people, especially the urban poor.

Under the proposed ordinance, the Baguio City Housing Board will promulgate the appropriate implementation policies and guidelines towards providing descent housing to the city's population, especially the indigent families.

Republic Act (RA) 7279, or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992, provides for a comprehensive and continuing urban development housing program, establishing the mechanism for its implementation and for other purposes.

According to the proponent, at present, the mandate of the law is yet to be implemented in the city considering there are many people among the bona fide city residents who are merely renting or living with their relatives or friends.

Moreover, Yangot admitted there are also numerous employees of the local government who had been serving the city government for quite a long time who are similarly situated with those who do not actually own their houses.

“As premium for their loyalty, sacrifices and hard work, it is also appropriate to include qualified city employees under the government's socialized housing program,” Yangot said.

Yangot added there are still available public and city-owned lands, which may be converted to socialized housing for qualified city residents, including employees of the City Government, which will ultimately allow them to own their respective homes through an Urban Development Housing Fund. (Dexter See/PIO)

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