In an inspiring display of unity and commitment to the cause of the homeless, government and business leaders gathered with CREBA chapters and members at Conrad Hotel Manila last week for the formal launch of the Chamber’s 50th anniversary celebratory activities.
Senator JOSEPH VICTOR G. EJERCITO – Chair of the Senate Committee on Housing, Resettlement and Urban Development – took the opportunity to extol once again CREBA’s contributions to legislative and policy formulation, particularly the creation of the Department of Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) which he authored.
In his characteristic endearing graciousness, the Senator made many CREBA members misty eyed by saying of the legislative effort: “nagmukha akong pogi, akala nila magaling ako, pero gumaling ako dahil tinulungan ninyo ako.” (It made me look good, they thought I was good, but it was good because you helped me.)
The Senator also expressed the hope that CREBA will continue to work with him closely in the effort to improve housing delivery and, more importantly, stimulate economic growth.
Speaking on behalf of DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino L. Acuzar, Undersecretary GARRY V. DE GUZMAN cited CREBA’s significant role as the Department’s valued partner and “pillar of DHSUD’s current stature.”
“Like gold, may you continue to be an epitome of beauty and sheen”, USEC De Guzman said.
Highlighting President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino Program, USEC De Guzman said that the Department is addressing two major bottlenecks – affordability and access to funds.
The USEC said “public-private partnership will genuinely be at the epicenter of our initiatives to ensure that we mobilize and maximize resources toward the realization of our targets.”
Meanwhile, CREBA Chairman Charlie A. V. Gorayeb and President Noel “Toti” M. Cariño outlined new legislative and policy formulation initiatives under the banner of the Chamber’s continuing 5-Point Agenda for Housing, which includes:
- Long-term affordable funds for socialized and economic housing – via amendments to the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act (RA 7835 or CISFA);
- Lands for human settlements, agriculture and the environment – via amendments to the proposed National Land Use Act (NLUA);
- Affordable homes in urban areas – via amendments to the Urban Development and Housing Act (RA 7270 or UDHA); and
- Efficient local government housing regulations – via amendments to the Local Government Code (RA 7150).