THE IMPLEMENTING rules and regulations (IRR) of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Act will be signed by June 15, according to Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Eduardo D. del Rosario.

In an interview at the Palace on May 20, Mr. del Rosario told BusinessWorld that the final draft of the IRR will be signed by the HUDCC, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and other concerned agencies by June 15.

Nagsimula na kaming gumulong ‘yung (We have started moving along with the) six months [transition period]. Three months for the completion of the implementing rules and regulations, so it will be completed and signed by June 15,” he said.

“After that, we will have our organizational structure and staffing pattern para ‘yung (so that the) different bureaus and regional offices will be defined with their corresponding heads,” he added.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11201, also known as the DHSUD Act, on Feb. 14. Mr. del Rosario said the HUDCC and the HLURB are now crafting a roadmap for the new department, which will be operational beginning 2020.

“So it depends now on the budget, we presented our proposed budget for 2020 to the DBM (Department of Budget and Management),” he said, which “at the moment” will be “about P50 billion a year.”

Most of the budget, he explained, will go to the informal settler families nationwide.

“Those living in areas whose lots are not theirs and those living in hazard areas,” he said.

“We would like to achieve our housing need. They call it backlog, I call it housing need of 6.5 million from 2017 to 2022. In order to achieve that, we need about a minimum of P35 to P40 billion. But the budget for the housing sector for this year alone is only P2.7 billion. How could we possibly achieve that? So it is very timely that the department is created so that in 2020, we can possibly scale up,” he said.

Mr. del Rosario also noted that the current housing agencies are drafting a proposed bill to address the country’s housing needs.

He said the bill is “for the housing production so that there will be an allocation of at least P50 billion a year to construct for over 20-year period… about two million housing units.”

“We are now drafting the proposed bill. Once the next Congress resumes, we will request a senator or a congressman to sponsor the bill so that we can have a yearly budget allocated for housing. Because previously, it’s about P30 to P33 billion already. It ran down to P2.7 billion this year,” he added. — Arjay L. Balinbin