MANILA – Two lawmakers from the Upper Chamber have filed measures that will help the government provide houses to more homeless Filipinos.
Senator Lito Lapid said on Wednesday that he filed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1232 or the Free Housing Through Usufruct Act of 2022 to create a usufruct housing program to allow beneficiaries free use of the property as a usufructuary, where the State retains the ownership and title.
Lapid pointed out that a lot of government housing programs are being taken advantage of by beneficiaries who sell their house instead of using them for their families.
“Taliwas ito sa layunin ng mga programa natin sa pabahay na nais bigyang tahanan ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino (This is contrary to the intention of our housing program that is to provide homes to every Filipino family),” Lapid said in a statement.
If passed into law, SBN 1232 will allow the government to retain naked ownership over the units through a usufruct arrangement and keep it for purposes of housing away from the real estate market, which is expected to address the decades-long concerns of beneficiaries selling their awarded housing units for profit.
“Even with the existence of low-cost housing, which should be inexpensive, the same cannot still be afforded by the intended beneficiaries,” Lapid said.
The lawmaker said beneficiaries may enjoy the use of the property only for residential purposes until disqualified or until the prohibited acts are committed, which include leasing, renting, and selling, among others, which transfers possession of the awarded property.
Meanwhile, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go is eyeing to create a National Housing Development, Production and Financing (NHDPF) Program, which seeks to increase housing production by forging partnerships among relevant stakeholders to address the social housing demands of Filipino families.
Through his filed SBN 426, Go said the government shall generate and mobilize funds to guarantee the development of a sustainable, accessible, and affordable housing financing system for the country’s informal settlers.
He said the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and its attached key shelter agencies shall intensify the implementation of the vital components of the NHDPF program.
“Through these measures, it is my hope that the government will be better able to meet the demands of the modern world by delivering improved, efficient, and effective public services to all Filipinos,” said Go.
“Kapag naisabatas ang mga ito, hindi na po kailangan lumapit at humingi ng tulong sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno ang mga tao. Ang gobyerno na ang lumalapit sa tao (If this will be passed into law, our people do not need to visit various agencies of the government to ask help. The government will go the the people),” he added.