Over 47,000 resume work in housing sector

More than 47,000 workers have either returned or are set to return for work after the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD)-backed resumption of real estate activities was ordered by Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

As of June 10, DHSUD-Regional Offices (ROs) reported that at least 47,412 workers of 204 developers have either resumed work or are set to return to 725 project sites all over the country.

DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario welcomed the development as huge amid the adverse effects of work stoppage to daily earners caused by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) following the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This is huge, it means we have 47,000 workers and their families not fully dependent on government assistance amid these difficult times. They now have their livelihood back on track after the resumption of construction works,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

“As for the developers, brokers and agents, they can now proceed with the business side and trigger the construction supply chain and resume buying and selling activities with strict compliance to safety and health protocols,” he added.

In recommending to IATF the resumption of real estate activities, the DHSUD issued guidelines for the developers to comply first before resuming work to ensure public health and safety.

The IATF allowed the resumption of private infrastructure projects last May 16, 2020.

Based on the reports submitted by DHSUD-ROs, Region 4A account for a bulk of the total number of projects with 301, followed by Region 3 (134) and the National Capital Region (128).

These projects consist of 288,709 subdivision and condominium units, with the NCR leading the list with 92,903 units.

“This clearly shows the huge potential of the housing industry in pump priming the economy,” Secretary Del Rosario stressed. Meanwhile, Secretary Del Rosario lauded the growing ties between the department and private developers as they work together in addressing the challenges of the housing sector.

In Tuesday’s first-ever “Kapihan with the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association,” Secretary Del Rosario discussed guidelines that developers need to abide with to avoid hassles with regard to obtaining permits and licenses for their respective projects.

At the online forum, which was attended by key officers of DHSUD including regional officers, the housing czar stated that DHSUD is finalizing measures linked to the ease of doing business as part of the efforts in fast-tracking the department’s permitting process.

Secretary Del Rosario likewise disclosed to SHDA, one of the department’s key shelter agencies, DHSUD’s 20-year housing strategic plan, which he said involves a mid-term and long-term roadmap.

“This master plan is meant to allow the department meet the country’s housing needs head-on,” he stressed, adding “housing is very important as it has both social and political impact.”

A complete draft of the 20-year housing roadmap is expected to be released by October this year, with Secretary del Rosario assuring private developers that DHSUD will consult private developers first before a final report comes out.