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COTABATO CITY — Some members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) have filed a measure seeking to create a Bangsamoro Housing Office (BHO).
The BTA Bill No. 186, or the Bangsamoro Housing Act, was principally authored by Members of Parliament Baintan Ampatuan, Amilbahar Mawallil, and Laisa Alamia.
If created, the BHO which will be an attached agency to the Ministry of Human Settlements and Development (MHSD) and will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive and integrated housing development and resettlement program.
It will be the sole agency that provides direct shelter and will be the primary mechanism for both economic housing provision for moderately low-income households and social housing provision for underprivileged and internally displaced persons.
The BHO will also reinforce partnerships between the public and private sectors and other stakeholders in addressing BARMM’s housing gaps. It will also work to strengthen partnerships between the public sector, the private sectors and other stakeholders to help fill the shortage of affordable housing in the region.
In the explanatory note to the proposed legislation, it is shown that there is a housing crisis in the region due to problems with housing affordability, accessibility, safety, and availability of basic necessities including water, power, sanitation, health care, and education.
“The housing issues faced by the BARMM do not occur in a vacuum and are deeply rooted in its history. At present, the rising cost of land and construction materials has denied underprivileged sectors of the region the chance to construct adequate housing,” the bill’s explanatory note said.
Under the Bangsamoro Administrative Code (BAC), the MHSD is mandated as the primary agency for the management of housing, human settlements, and urban development.
However, the authors of the proposed bill explain that the implementation of housing projects is currently being done by various agencies.
“To ensure efficiency in planning and delivery, the implementation of housing projects should ideally be concentrated rather than dispersed,” the authors said.
They also emphasized that housing is key to the indispensable right of the Bangsamoro people to self-determination and to the long-term development of the region.
Under the proposed bill, the BHO shall develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated housing program to implement the MHSD’s integrated human settlements plans; develop and undertake housing development and resettlement projects, promote housing development, among others.
If passed into law, the housing office will be in Cotabato City, with satellite offices in each province. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division) — (/)