A proposed measure intended to ease homelessness in local government units across the country has gained the support of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City, saying the bill will be “beneficial to [Cotabato City] city and its constituents.”
Giving its nod to the House Bill 6342 principally authored by Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, the City council approved Resolution No. 5911 “highly commending” the House of Representatives Committee on Housing and Urban Development for the bill’s approval.
“The bill will surely address the land and housing needs of the landless and homeless families in the country,” explained the resolution.
“[It will] facilitate the acquisition of land for housing projects for the poor sector of our society who does not have the means to acquire land and build decent homes,” it added.
The resolution, which was sponsored by Hon. Jonathan S. Cortez, a Council member and chairman of the Cotabato City Council Committee on Housing, Planning & Resettlement and Land Use, also recognized the role of Akbayan in moving the proposed measure forward.
Related article: Cotabato City Council recognizes Akbayan reps role in housing reform bill’s passage
Gutierrez, together with fellow Akbayan Rep. Angelina Katoh and former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello, were recognized “who, in one way or the other, contributed to the approval of House Bill No. 6342.”
Filed on December 12, 2015, the HB 6342 seeks to empower local governments units (LGUs) to identify and acquire lands as sites for socialized housing for the homeless and poor families. READ MORE: Full text of House Bill 6342
Lands covered by the proposed measure that could be acquired for socialized housing includes:
a) Those owned by the Government or any of its subdivisions, instrumentalities, or agencies, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and their subsidiaries;
b) Alienable lands of the public domain;
c) Unregistered or abandoned and idle lands;
d) Those within the declared Areas for Priority Development, Zonal Improvement Program sites, and Slum Improvement and Resettlement Program sites which have not yet been acquired;
e) Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services or BLISS sites which have not yet been acquired; and
f) Privately-owned lands.
The House of Representatives has already approved HB 6342 on third and final reading, and is currently pending at the Senate.###