Government Key Shelter Agencies (KSAs) on 18 October 2017 formally launched the BALAI Filipino Program. With their respective mandates, as well as through joint endeavors, the KSAs composed of the National Housing Authority (NHA), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF/Pag-IBIG), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC), and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) under the supervision of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), proudly announced their commitment to engage in building sustainable Filipino communities.

Aptly named “BALAI”, a Southeastern vernacular for “house”, the program stands for Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable, and Inclusive Filipino Communities. Under this program, direct housing production, housing loans, mortgage programs, land registrations, and other various housing assistance of the KSAs shall be branded “BALAI”.

Housing Chairperson Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, on his speech underscored the need for a strong housing program which aims to address the housing backlog. To do this, KSAs need to accelerate the annual housing production to 250,000 units, producing a total of 1.5 to 2 million units by 2022. Further, Sec. Del Rosario reiterated that synergy among KSAs and partnerships with other National and Local Government Units, legislators, peoples’ organizations, business groups, and international development organizations must be undertaken in order to achieve the goals of BALAI Filipino.

Also present in the launch were Representative Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, Chairperson of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development and Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement. In his speech, Rep. Benitez said that there is a strong need to push for In-City housing for Informal Settler Families (ISFs). A staunch supporter of the creation of a housing department, he announced that possibly by end of the year, the House of Representatives may pass the bill on the creation of Department of Human Settlements. Meanwhile, Sen. Ejercito praised NHA General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada Jr. for rising up to the challenge of improving the Housing Program for Armed Forces of the Philippines/ Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP). The Senator also revealed that he is pushing for a multi-year budget obligations for the housing sector.

Additionally, the KSA heads unveiled the official logo of the BALAI Filipino which will be used in all documents and posted in all housing projects branded under the BALAI. After this, the Unity Statement was signed by Sec. Del Rosario, the KSA heads, and HUDCC Sec. Gen. Atty. Falconi V. Millar. Capping off the program is the ceremonial signing of Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between the KSAs and other government and private organizations. In particular, GM Escalada signed an MOU with Pag-IBIG on the redevelopment of the NHA Compound. He also signed a MOA with HUDCC, HLURB, and Filinvest Development Corporation for the development of a water distribution system to serve 1,000 displaced families who will be relocated at transitory shelter site in Brgy. Sagonsongan, Marawi City.