Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Jose Rizalino “Jerry” Acuzar (2nd from left) with Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya, Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and Silay Mayor Joedith Gallego (l-r) at the signing of the MOUs for the housing programs at the Bacolod City Government Center on Saturday.*CPG photo
Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar committed on Saturday, September 3, to provide Bacolod City with the funds to build 10,000 housing units for the poor in three years.
Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and Acuzar signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) to develop housing projects for the residents of Bacolod, especially the Informal Settler Families (ISF), by pooling together their technical, financial and manpower resources.
The groundbreaking for the construction of the 10,000 housing units in three Bacolod sites is targeted for October, Benitez said.
The 10,000 housing units for Bacolod will be part of the DHSUD’s “Pambansang Pabahay Para Sa Pilipino: Zero ISF Program for 2028,” which aims to build six million housing units during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Acuzar said.
“I am 100 percent committed” to the 10,000 housing units for Bacolod, Acuzar said.
“This is a very historic event in terms of our dream to have decent and affordable housing for every Bacolodnon. This is history in the making where Bacolod will be the pilot and model for things to come in our housing industry,” Benitez said.
Acuzar pointed out that Benitez, while congressman of the third district of Negros Occidental, authored Republic Act 11201, the law which created the DHSUD in 2019.
“Your mayor is an expert on housing, Bacolod is lucky with the housing program he is proposing,” the secretary said.
He said the model Yuhum Village housing unit at the BCGC presented by the mayor is the best he has seen.
In fact Benitez has given him advice on how to address the country’s housing backlog, Acuzar said.
Benitez said the city will provide affordable housing units for the different market segments of society depending on what they can afford, “it will not be a one size fits all housing design”.
A socio-economic survey for informal settlers is being conducted so that the units build can cater to their needs, he said, pointing out that in-city housing will enable recipients to live in areas where their livelihoods are currently located.
“We are doing environmental scanning of ISFs to see what they can afford. We will tailor fit our housing program to their capacity,” he said.
Councilor Vladimir Gonzalez, chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod committee on urban poor, housing, and resettlement, said the construction of five-storey housing buildings in three sites in Bacolod will be fast because they will be using the pre-fabricated concrete modular method.
They aim to build 7,599 housing units at Purok Arao in Barangay Vista Alegre, 2,268 in Barangay Banago, and 2,048 in Barangay 8, Gonzalez said.
Acuzar said he also signed MOUs with Silay and Victorias cities in Negros Occidental, but the specifics of their housing projects were not available yet.
Present at the MOU signing rites at the BCGC were Mayor Joedith Gallego of Silay City and City Legal Officer Meddie Arbolado Jr. representing Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez of Victorias City.
Also present at the signing rites were Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya and the city councilors.*