June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Bill strengthening NHA breezes through House plenary 

THE measure seeking to strengthen the National Housing Authority (NHA) has been overwhelmingly passed on third and final reading by the House of Representatives. 

Gaining final approval of the chamber by virtue of an overwhelming 188 votes during plenary session was House Bill (HB) 10172, also known as the proposed National Housing Authority Act. 

The measure resulted from the consolidation of eight other bills, namely HB Nos. 954, 1429, 2300, 2994, 6390, 8156 8758, and 9258 

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez underscored the importance of the measure in the effort to strengthen housing as a platform to reduce poverty, promote climate resilience, improve health and socio-cultural outcomes, and promote economic development. 

“This bill seeks to develop integrated, sustainable, safe, affordable and resilient communities, particularly for the underprivileged and homeless as well as low-income households,” said the leader of the 300-plus members House of Representatives. 

Romualdez also said it seeks to implement innovative and alternative solutions in addressing the housing needs of informal settler families, the lower-income classes and other vulnerable sectors. It also espouses the adoption of viable land acquisition and management approaches. 

The measure extends the corporate term of the NHA for a period 25 years, which shall be under the control and supervision of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD). 

It authorizes the NHA “to determine, establish, and maintain the most feasible and effective program for the management or disposition of specific housing or resettlement projects and acquisition of lands for the immediate and future needs of its beneficiaries”. 

It also provides for the powers and functions of the NHA to develop and implement comprehensive and integrated housing and urban and rural development programs for citizens specifically for the improvement of blighted urban areas direct shelter production and disposition for informal settler families and the underprivileged and homeless, relocation of families subject of court-ordered eviction, housing program for government employees and military and uniformed personnel, and the relocation of residents in danger areas. 

It authorizes the NHA to engage in land banking for purposes of socialized housing developments, as well as promotes the development of citizen participation through thorough consultation and the incorporation of a people’s plan, when needed. 

Under HB 10172, the NHA is designated as the central repository of database and census of households along waterways, danger areas, government infrastructure project site, and government-owned lands in Metro Manila. 

It requires NHA to adhere to the provisions of Republic Act 10149, otherwise known as the “GOCC Governance Act of 2011”, as a government owned or controlled corporation. 

Moreover, it rationalizes its Board of Directors to adhere to the National Human Settlements Board provided under RA 11201, otherwise known as the “Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Act”. 

The bill provides for the mandatory review of the NHA by the DHSUD, Commission on Audit, and Governance Commission for Government Owned or Controlled Corporations.