Duterte signs law creating Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development

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The measure consolidates the administrative functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, and the regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 19) President Rodrigo Duterte signed on February 14 a law creating the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

CNN Philippines obtained a copy of Republic Act 11201 Thursday. The measure consolidates the administrative functions of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, and the regulatory functions of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).

The new department will have several bureaus: Bureau of Environmental, Land Use and Urban Planning and Development;  Housing and Real Estate Development Regulation Bureau, and  Homeowners Associations and Community Development Bureau.

Under the department, the HLURB will be reconstituted into the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission.

The law also creates the National Human Settlements Board. It will be composed of the department secretary, as well as the heads of the National Economic Development Authority, the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The DHSUD shall have administrative supervision of the National Housing Authority, the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, the Home Development Mutual Fund, and the Social Housing Finance Corporation.

The new department is mandated to establish housing one-stop processing centers, which will centralize processing and issuance of housing-related permits, clearances and licenses.

The DHSUD, along with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform, the Department of Agriculture, DILG, and Land Registration Authority must identify government lands for housing and rural development within 180 days from the effectivity of the law.

Identified lands, however, must be idle for more than 10 years. Lands owned by government-owned and controlled corporations, and government financial institutions engaged in shelter financing are not covered. Lands exempted from conversion under existing laws shall also be excluded.

The law takes effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette.

The last time a housing department was instituted was during the martial law regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos. It was called the Ministry of Human Settlements, headed by his wife, now Ilocos Norte Second District Rep. Imelda Marcos.