“The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.”
– Oscar Wilde, Irish Writer and Poet
By Ernesto C. Perez II
Before I resigned from the Office of Senator Rodolfo Biazon in December 31, 2001, the creation of the DHUD was already being discussed. The dominant argument preventing its quick passage was that there were already 20 line Departments in the Executive Branch of Government. In contrast, the US Federal Government has only 15 Departments.
At this time, the same argument still holds true. But, the bill creating the DHUD will definitely be refiled in the next Congress. There is no time for it to be passed by the current Congress.
Under the current Senate bill, DHUD shall act as the primary national government entity responsible for the management of housing and urban development. In effect, the DHUD will absorb the powers and functions of the Housing & Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the planning and regulatory functions of the HLURB.
In my mind, the SB No. 3199 will not impact much on the housing backlog of the country. HUDCC has no present constraints in creating rules and regulations that will hasten the development and construction of more housing units in the country.
Addressing the housing backlog will be good for the real estate industry as well as for all RESPs. If HUDCC can’t make an impact now, how can we expect the DHUD to make a dent on the housing backlog?
The same officials and bureaucrats from HUDCC will fill the positions to be created in the DHUD. What the bill actually does, if passed into law, is change the name of HUDCC and make it officially a cabinet portfolio; and its head an official cabinet member.
More than addressing the housing backlog, we hope that the creation of DHUD will streamline the processes that affect the regulation of the housing industry. The new department should emphasize urban planning principles in such regulations.
In addition, DHUD should provide measures to adopt and use different modes of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in resolving HOA litigations and cases filed against developers by HOA and/or its members.
Under the bill, the HLURB will be converted into the Adjudication Commission for Housing, Land Use and Urban Development. Hence, there has to be a quicker way to resolve disputes arising from issues connected to the management of community associations.
The normal adversarial nature of litigation used by the HLURB is archaic and needs to be updated to better serve the needs and face the challenges of the present times. We will continue to monitor any development regarding the bill creating DHUD and report it here.
We shall also continue to provide you insights on pending legislations that affect the real estate industry, its professionals and various stakeholders – most important of which are the homeowner-members of HOAs.