(Published 20 July 2017)
Following his official oath of office on Monday, the new HUDCC Chairperson, retired General Eduardo D. Del Rosario, began his official duties at sprint speed, directing the officials of shelter agencies to work closely as “one team” in addressing the country’s housing needs.
“With HUDCC at the helm, I look forward to working together with the different shelter agencies as one team moving forward to bring effective solutions to homelessness and housing needs to the people we have committed to serve,” the Chairman said.
“I hope that what we are driven by this single purpose. I expect that we are all aboard the same boat, heading together in one direction,” he said.
For two days, Del Rosario has conducted marathon meetings with the HUDCC officials, the heads and management teams of the key shelter agencies, namely the National Housing Authority (NHA), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), for briefings on the agencies’ mandates to identify the priority projects to be tackled.
Building Quality Housing, Eliminating Corruption
The Chairman also ordered the creation of an audit team to eliminate inefficiencies and corruption in the implementation of housing projects.
“HUDCC’s mandate as oversight of the shelter agencies is very clear. And I am committed to exercise this function, not only in words but in action,” Del Rosario emphasized.
“The audit team to be created will focus on tightening the monitoring of the performance of HUDCC and the shelter agencies especially the implementation of the housing projects. This will institute a stronger accountability mechanism among officials and ensure that we are building quality housing for our family-beneficiaries,” he added.
Chair Del Rosario also warned the HUDCC and shelter agencies against misconducts and corruption amid numerous news reports of substandard housing projects.
He also emphasized that private developers involved in anomalous contracts will be aggressively pursued and penalized to the fullest extent of the law.
“Given the many problems in the housing projects, it is surprising that there are not a lot of contractors and officials who are being penalized or even jailed. So I am warning those shelter heads and officials who are in cahoots with private developers in these anomalous contracts, as head of the oversight agency, you will not be spared,” he said.
He directed the creation of a team to conduct regular monitoring of all housing projects being implemented nationwide.
“I am also encouraging the public to use the government platform through 8888 Citizens Complaint Hotline to report anomalies or problems in relation to housing,” Del Rosario said.
“If we are committed to deliver on our mandates to provide decent housing to those who are less privileged, we need to strengthen accountability and to become more aggressive in running after errant public officials and fraudulent contractors and developers,” he concluded. ***