Put up of city housing, urban dev’t board pushed

Put up of city housing, urban dev’t board pushed

The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance establishing the Baguio City Housing and Urban Development Board and appropriating funds for the said purpose.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that the Baguio City Housing and Urban Development Board shall be composed of the City Mayor as chairman, the Chairman of the City Council Committee on Lands and Housing as action officer and the City Planning and Development Officer, City Building Official, City Social Welfare and Development Officer, City Assessor, HUDCC representative, HLURB-Car representative, NHA-Region I/CAR representative, DENR-CAR representative, PCUP representative, urban poor organization representative and non-government organization representative.

Among the duties and responsibilities of the said board include to formulate and recommend policies, plans and programs which shall be implemented by the Local Urban Poor Affairs and Housing Office; formulate policies and programs in accordance with Republic Act (RA) 7279 or the Urban Housing and Development Act and the City Development Strategies; formulate polices, plans and programs to improve the capability of the local government in undertaking urban development and housing projects and programs; adopt workable policies to regulate and direct urban growth and expansion towards a dispersed urban net and more balanced urban-rural interdependence; provide for an equitable land tenure system that shall guarantee security of tenure to socialized housing beneficiaries but also shall respect the rights of small property owners and ensure the payment of just compensation; identify the problems of the urban poor  and recommend possible solutions; accredit legitimate organizations or urban poor for purposes of representation in the board or in the national and local legislative bodies related to urban poor and housing development programs; review existing activities, laws, and programs related to housing in consultation with the urban poor sector and recommend actions to promote housing rights; set up consultative mechanisms in coordination with local department units of the local government which shall serve as venue for participation of urban poor in policy formulation, evaluation of programs and projects affecting them and mediate, conciliate and recommend appropriate actions on the matters addressing beneficiary, cost determinations of areas for acquisitions and other matters within the premises of urban poor development and perform such other functions as may be necessary to effectively and efficiently carry out an effective and efficient housing and urban poor development program.

The ordinance stipulated that the amount of P5 million shall be automatically appropriated annually and shall be included in the annual budget of the year following its enactment and succeeding years.

Moreover, the utilization of the said funding shall be limited to 40 percent for personnel and maintenance and operating expenses and 60 percent for program expenses primarily on land acquisition and cost-sharing schemes.

Any person who shall violate the pertinent provisions of the ordinance and RA 7279 shall be imposed the penalty of not more than one year of imprisonment or a fine of not less than P1,000 but not more than P5,000 or both at the sound discretion of the court, provided that, if the offender is a corporation, partnership, association or juridical entity, the penalty shall be imposed on the officer who caused the violation. – Dexter A. See