Politics

Housing agency seeks bigger budget 

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PHILSTAR

THE DEPARTMENT of Human Settlements and Urban Development asked congressmen on Thursday to give them P36 billion more to help solve the country’s housing backlog. 

The agency seeks to partner with local governments building a million houses yearly until 2028, Human Settlements Secretary Rizalino L. Acuzar told a House of Representatives hearing. Local government would also help hire contractors and in deciding who the beneficiaries will be.  

The agency has a proposed budget of P1.52 billion next year, 62.2% more than this year.  

Under the plan, P654.91 million will go to personnel services, P331.36 million to maintenance and other operating expenses and P111.28 million to capital outlays.  

Marikina Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo asked why local governments were considered as the implementing agencies.  

“Not all local government units may have the capacity,” she said, adding that there was a risk that the program might get politicized.  

The lawmaker, who is a senior vice chairman of the committee on appropriations, asked the Human Settlements department to submit a proof of concept before the House agrees to the budget increase. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo