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Proposed Department of Housing promotes homelessness, privatization of public housing

Saturday, May 14, 2011

 Proposed Department of Housing promotes homelessness, privatization of public housing

“Like its predecessors, the Aquino government is abandoning its responsibility to provide social services to its poor constituents … By partnering with the private sector in building public housing, it can be expected that the government will confine its function to that of an enabler which is limited to policy formulation and program monitoring.”


MANILA — Employees of the National Housing Authority (NHA) are against plans of the Benigno Aquino III government to privatize housing services and to create a Department of Housing and Urban Development. They were joined by residents from urban poor communities in Quezon City and Metro Manila in a protest last May 8 in front of the House of Representatives.

Rosalinda Nartates, president of the the Consolidated Union of Employees-NHA is adamant in protesting against the proposed agency, saying that it is all part of a privatization scheme. Public housing under the proposed DHUD, she said, will become more profit-oriented than it already is.

NHA employees and urban poor organizations under the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) have been fighting against moves to privatize public housing and legislative proposals on the same since the year 2000 and since the 9th Congress. Nartates also said that their stand against the DHUD also had to do with the proposed reorganization of the seven key shelter agencies. In the line of fire are the jobs of at least 5,000 employees.

Priority measure

The proposed DHUD is among President Aquino’s 12 priority bills that he presented to the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) in its February meeting. Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr said that the bill is among the four “Human developments bills” the Aquino administration is determined to have passed into law.

Employees of the National Housing Authority led by their union Consolidated Union of Employees-NHA lead protests against the privatization of public housing and proposals for the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Photo by Ina Alleco R. Silverio / bulatlat.com)

To be merged are the Key Shelter Agencies (KSA)—Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Mutual Fund Development Corporation (PAG-IBIG fund), Home Guarantee Corporation, Housing and Urban Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), National Home Mortgage and Finance Corporation and the NHA.The NHA is the government’s lead agency and corporation engaged in direct shelter provision.

Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her sons Mikey and Dato are behind the first DHUD bill, HB384, which they filed on the very first day of the 15th Congress. It calls for the creation of the DHUD and the consolidation and coordination of five key shelter agencies. HB 1231 by Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo and HB 2216 by Mindoro Rep.Rodolfo Valencia also aim for the creation of DHUD..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/13/proposed-department-of-housing-promotes-homelessness-privatization-of-public-housing/


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