Acuzar drives DHSUD on the right track

DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF DHSUD

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, the man behind President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program, is a man of few words but full of determination.

His plan is based on the flagship Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program of President Marcos, targeting to address the country’s housing backlog pegged at more than 6.5 million units.

Unlike the previous administration, Acuzar said they have their own way of protecting the poorest of the poor, informal settlers and even the working class in attaining their dreams of owning a home.

“Under the 4PH, we are tapping primarily investible funds from goverment financial institutions and the private sector, unlike previous housing programs that were heavily dependent on the national budget,” Acuzar explained to the Daily Tribune.

Under the 4PH, the national goverment will allocate funds for interest subsidy to lower the amortization to help the beneficiaries, according to Acuzar.

He also prodded the President to issue Executive Order 34, identifying and allotting idle goverment lands for housing that can lower further the cost of 4PH Projects for the benefit of underprivileged Filipinos.

Acuzar also approached and collaborated with local government officials, community organization, and other stakeholders to develop and implement housing policies and initiatives.

“At DHSUD, we observe the open door policy. We welcome everyone. We engage local goverment units from all over the country, and we have conducted dialogues with various cause-oriented groups including urban poor, transport organizations, homeowners associations, developers and contractors, etc. to integrate them into our program. We are in close collaboration with private developers to align goverment efforts with them,” the Housing Czar said.

As a result, more than 150 Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with the said groups and other national agencies, so that the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program is now being smoothly implemented.

“We are adopting the latest available technology to ensure efficient service to our stakeholders. Currently, we are finalizing our ISSP (Information Systems Strategic Plan) to better serve the public. We work together with other goverment agencies for data-driven programs,” he said.

Sustainable and environmentally friendly housing initiatives are also integrated with these principles into the department’s work.

“We have the Environmental, Land Use, Urban Development Bureau in charge of integrating green and smart community principles and transport-oriented development to oolur program, not only to ensure sustainability but also safety. We have been in constant collaboration with local and international partners for us to improve on these,” Acuzar said.