“Housing for Filipino families and the most vulnerable is an urgent task. Kailangan nagkakaintindihan tayo kahit sa simpleng definition of terminologies sa usapin ng pabahay dahil bahay at buhay ang nakasalalay dito.”

This was Senator JV Ejercito’s opening remarks today when he presided over the Joint Committee Meeting of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement together with the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development to discuss Senate Resolution No. 1064 – Common Definition of Housing Terminologies, authored by Senator Ejercito.

According to Sen. Ejercito, Chairman of the Senate Housing Committee, the conflicting and inconsistent definition of terminologies create confusion to government agencies, private sector, and other stakeholders.

He said it is necessary to come up with a glossary standardizing the definition of significant housing terms before year end through a series of collaborative discussions under the National Housing and Urban Development Summit (NHUDS), a joint congressional committee effort with technical assistance from the World Bank.

“The housing backlog in 2010 was already at 3.6M households. It remains a challenge for the government, considering the projected increase in backlog by 5.6M households in 2016,” said Ejercito, highlighting the need to come up with a glossary of common housing terminologies.

The NHUDS, headed by Ejercito together with Rep. Albee Benitez, brings together key leaders and representatives of stakeholder groups in the housing sector toward identifying key policy and institutional reforms that would address the critical need for informal settler family shelter and close the gap in the delivery of affordable shelter for the disadvantaged.

Among other related policy issues due for discussion in the summit are participatory governance; housing financing; land and urban development.

The hearing was attended by Senate Housing Committee Member Sen. Cynthia Villar, Rep. Albee Benitez, Chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, representatives from HUDCC, Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), National Housing Authority (NHA), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), DENR, NEDA, World Bank representatives, and other members of various civil society organizations such as Urban Poor Association. ###