Senator Christopher “Bong” Go moves to address homelessness in the country through Senate Bill No. 1227, or the Rental Housing Subsidy Program Act of 2019.
Senate Bill No. 1227 or the Rental Housing Subsidy Program Act of 2019 aims to establish a housing and social protection program enabling Informal Settler Beneficiaries to access the formal housing market by offering a rental subsidy.
Based on this proposed measure, the amount of the subsidy will be determined by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development. It will be a percentage of the total amount of rentals as determined by the rental or lease contract between the eligible beneficiary and the lessor.
For eligible beneficiaries below the poverty threshold as determined by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the subsidy will be at least 50 percent of the total amount of rentals.
The Senator, who is the Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Housing, emphasized that the continuing onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation of Filipinos living in congested urban centers, particularly in Metro Manila and other big cities, and has brought not only health problems but also adverse economic effects which resulted to poor quality of life.
“Hindi po ito tama. Every Filipino family deserves a decent home and not one at the expense of their health and safety,” Go added.
“Lack of housing complicates to a host of other issues, such as poverty, inequality, hunger and malnutrition, as well as lack of sustainable livelihoods, among others,” the Senator pointed out.
“Sa pag-iikot ko at pagbibigay tulong sa mga kababayan nating nasunugan, I have witnessed, first-hand, the worsening situation of the lives of our fellow Filipinos, especially those who have no permanent place to call home,” he added.
This shall also be made an option to address the temporary relocation of displaced families due to in crisis situations particularly in instances where homes are lost due to fires and calamities.
Just last June 15, Bong Go was in Barangay 275 and 286 in Tondo, Manila assisting many families who lost their homes due to fire.
“Pangako po ito naming dalawa ng Pangulong Duterte, bigyan ng mas maginhawang buhay ang bawat Pilipino, lalong lalo na po ang mga mahihirap,” he added.
He also commended the Committee of Urban Planning, Housing, and Resettlement, chaired by Senator Francis Tolentino, for tackling vital measures to alleviate the burden of poverty-stricken and homeless Filipinos amidst the pandemic during a committee hearing on June 16.
Aside from the Rental Subsidy Act, also tackled during the hearing were SBNs 2248, 2140, and 2098 which propose to strengthen the National Housing Authority.
During the start of the 18th Congress, Go also filed SBN 203, entitled “National Housing Development, Production and Financing Act of 2019”, which aims to generate sustainable funds for housing.
Go is also the main proponent of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program (BP2) which is a long-term plan of the government to decongest urban areas, boost countryside development, and improve quality of life in all regions.
BP2 roll-outs are however presently temporarily suspended.