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V Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)

V National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)



Kabayan Forum


                                                                                                           Ms. Ronadale Zapata


Through an enduring sound partnership with government
on housing
18 August 2005

Vice President and concurrent Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro strongly urged businessmen not to let the opportunity pass in uplifting the plight of the poor through improved support of the housing sector.

KABAYAN GIVES POINTERS AT BUSINESS LEADERS’ FORUM. Vice-President and concurrent Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman Noli ‘Kabayan’ De Castro addresses the participants of the Philippine Business Leaders Forum held recently at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City. In his message, the Vice President asked the businessmen to further firm up its partnership with the government in addressing the problem of housing especially for the
underprivileged. In the photo are (L-R) VP De Castro, Atty. Miro Quimbo of PAG-Ibig, Jose P. Leviste Jr., chairman of the Philippine Business Leaders’ Forum, Romulo Fabul of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and Michael Clancy, president and CEO of the Philippine Business Leaders Forum. (OVP photo by Egay Montaña)

In his speech at the Philippine Business Leaders Forum, Inc. in the Manila Polo Club before a crowd of mostly foreign businessmen, Vice President De Castro acknowledged the very encouraging initiatives received by the government from business organizations. For instance, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry proposed classrooms cum training centers and assisted in providing social services such as medical missions, likewise, there was support from non-governmental organizations like the Homeless Peoples Federation and Gawad Kalinga and international organizations like the United Nations-Habitat program. Despite these, De Castro pointed out that the gigantic task of providing shelter to the people is still far from being accomplished.

Though cooperation with these groups has shown great promise, this will not be enough. Our communities will appreciate not just bright and innovative suggestions, not just moral support and encouragement, but also contributions from the private sector. This is your opportunity to do your share in uplifting the lives of the poor among us.

On the part of the government, the Vice President mentioned that the HUDCC, through the key shelter
agencies (KSAs), undertook the following measures to revitalize the housing sector and make it healthy and viable: sustained investment-friendly business climate in housing by providing incentives for housing investments and reduced red tape in government agencies, embarked on organizational restructuring, streamlining, collection efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and transparency on the KSAs, supported the development of local government capacities in providing housing and shelter security, and addressed the housing requirements of the informal settlers and the urban poor.

Vice-President De Castro also pointed out that the North Rail relocation project that would clear the way for the rehabilitation of the north railway system is one very challenging undertaking of the HUDCC since the railroad tracks were transformed into shanties for informal settlers.

But being a major government project that would contribute to the decongestion of Metro Manila and accelerate development in Central and Northern Luzon that would support the other initiatives in the area, (like the Subic-Clark Area Development Program or SCAD, the P27.4 Billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway, the expansion of the Subic Bay seaport, and the air liberalization program for Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark and the Subic Bay International Airport), the Vice President acknowledged that everything must be done to make the Northrail relocation project a model for orderly and peaceful transfer of families to better and safer residential areas.

Our vision is to create sustainable communities where the settlers will have basic services and amenities, livelihood opportunities, and more importantly, a place they can securely call home.

He also announced that, to date, the government has finished relocating the informal settlers along the
Metro Manila alignment from Caloocan to Malabon and Valenzuela while the clearing of the Bulacan to
Pampanga segment is underway.

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