DHSUD eyes PPP-funded resettlement projects

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) is pushing a “pro-active” response to quake-stricken areas including the establishment of safe and resilient resettlement sites.

The agency said that it is keen to partner with the private sector through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in fast-tracking the land development and the construction of resettlement sites, particularly in calamity -hit areas in the country.

According to DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, the agency has already initiated preliminary talks with some of the country’s biggest developers to explore potential development projects intended for the affected families whose houses were totally destroyed during a magnitude 7 earthquake that jolted Northern Luzon last month.

“We have been providing emergency shelter assistance since the earthquake happened in the form of temporary shelter materials,” Acuzar said.

Currently, DHSUD extends cash assistance to quake victims through its Emergency Housing Assistance Program.

“We now need a proactive response through a more permanent solution to the damages this calamity has caused. Building shelters should now become a priority. We need help from our private partners for us to do that,” Acuzar said.

DHSUD has been maximizing agreements with local government units along with the private sector to push various housing-related development projects through “incentivized compliance to a balanced housing program.”

The agency also disclosed that the government is eyeing to construct three resettlement sites, funded through PPP, for quake-affected residents.

Some 930 housing units will likely be built in the municipalities of Tayum, Bucay, and Peñarrubia in Abra province.

“I recognize our funding limitations in the government. But we cannot stop there. We need to explore other means, for as long as it is legally allowed, to provide for the housing needs of our fellow Filipinos,” Acuzar said.

He noted that the active participation of the private sector “will be a big boost” to providing immediate assistance to quake victims.

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