April 2, 2023

The city council 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 the Baguio City Housing and Urban Development Board shall be composed of the city mayor as chair, the chair 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, and representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, National Housing Authority, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Presidential Commission on Urban Poor, and urban poor organization and non-government organizations.

Among the duties and responsibilities of the board are to formulate and recommend policies, plans, and programs to be implemented by the Local Urban Poor Affairs and Housing Office; formulate policies and programs in accordance with Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Housing and Development Act and the city development strategies; and formulate polices, plans, and programs to improve the capability of the local government in undertaking urban development and housing projects and programs.

It is also tasked to 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; and identify the problems of the urban poor and recommend possible solutions.

The task force shall also 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; and review activities, laws, and programs related to housing in consultation with the urban poor sector and recommend actions to promote housing rights.

It is also tasked to 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 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 proposed the appropriation of P5 million annually in the annual budget of which 40 percent will be for personnel and maintenance and operating expenses and 60 percent for program expenses primarily on land acquisition and cost-sharing schemes. – PIO release