BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill No. 05, known as the In-City Housing Bill, authored by Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez (3rd district, Negros Occidental), on Wednesday, November 9.
Benitez said the bill aims to uphold the rights of the urban poor in the city, save informal settler families from being relocated to faraway relocation sites and empower informal settler families to design for themselves the development of their community through the People’s Plan.
In his sponsorship speech, Benitez said “Under this bill, the families remain close to their jobs, the children’s education will not be disrupted and basic services shall be within their reach. Only when on-site or in-city relocation is not feasible, shall near-city or off-city relocation be considered.”
“By institutionalizing on-site or in-city relocation, the state will be able to provide affordable and sustainable housing programs with minimal to no dislocation, no loss of livelihood, and access to basic services will be ensured as mandated under Section 9 and Section 10 of Article XIII of the Constitution.”
Benitez chairs the Committee on Housing and Urban Development.
Meanwhile, an initial 5,000 housing units will rise on the Yuhum Village in Barangay Vista Alegre, Bacolod City, beginning on the first quarter of 2023, for the city government’s shelter program in partnership with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), according to Housing Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar.*