MANILA – The House of Representatives on Thursday approved on final reading a measure establishing a housing rental subsidy program for informal settler families (ISFs).
With 189 affirmative votes, six negative votes, and no abstention, the chamber passed on third reading House Bill 8736, which seeks to promote a just, equitable, and inclusive urban development through programs providing adequate social services, broader housing options, livelihood, employment, as well as an improved quality of life for Filipinos.
The proposed rental housing subsidy program would enable ISFs to access the formal housing market and facilitate the temporary relocation of families who were displaced due to natural and man-made disasters.
The bill stipulates that eligible ISFs in Metro Manila would receive a flat rental subsidy rate of PHP3,500.
Meanwhile, the rates for those living in other regions would be determined by the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), taking into consideration the prevailing minimum wage and rental rates per region, but not exceeding PHP3,500.
The bill mandates that the rental subsidy shall not exceed the actual rent, provided that such subsidy may be reviewed or revised by the DHSUD and NEDA at any time but not more than once every two years to conform to prevailing economic conditions.
The rental subsidy shall be granted to eligible beneficiaries until the date of completion of the permanent housing project intended for them or upon their actual transfer to the permanent housing project.
ISF-program applicants shall be required to vacate the informal settlement area they are currently occupying and transfer or relocate to a safer area in order to be eligible to receive the rental subsidy.
The beneficiaries shall be prohibited from moving or relocating back to the area in which they were originally living unless permitted by the proper government authorities and obliges them to pay that portion of the rent in excess of the subsidy. (PNA)