Binay picks Housing post

07/16/2010 - VICE President Jejomar Binay has accepted the offer of President Benigno Aquino III for him to head the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

The post was previously held by Binay's predecessor, Noli De Castro.

"After a discussion with the President, I am following his request to take charge of the housing sector as chair of the HUDCC," Binay said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

"I look forward to implementing the President's objectives for housing and shelter and working with volunteer organizations like Gawad Kalinga, with whom I share a common dream of building not just homes but sustainable communities for our people," he added.

In accepting the post, Binay reiterated that though they belonged to different political parties, he is always prepared to work with Aquino in attaining his goals.

"I have always maintained that I am ready to be of assistance to our President in attaining his vision for our country and our people," he pointed out.

The Aquino and Binay families are long time friends going back to the Martial Law years when Vice President Binay was then a human rights lawyer.

Binay was appointed by then President Corazon Aquino as officer-in-charge of Makati after the 1986 EDSA People Power uprising that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.

The HUDCC position is one of the government posts originally offered to Binay. The others are the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and as well as the chairmanship of a Truth Commission.

The DAR post was already held by lawyer Virgilio De Los Reyes while the Truth Commission was taken by former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

Binay earlier expressed interests in the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) post, considered a key post in any administration.

Aquino however picked former Naga City Mayor and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Jesse Robredo for the DILG post.

Malacanang meanwhile welcomed Binay's acceptance of the post.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the President had reiterated his offer, "in view of his desire for a unified administration to serve the people".

"We look forward to the Vice-President's positive contributions to the administration's efforts," he added.

For his part, former President Joseph Estrada and Binay's runningmate in the
2010 elections said that Aquino is lucky to have Binay as chief of the HUDCC.

"His vast experience as mayor for 20 years of one of the great urban centers in the Philippines will undoubtedly be an asset as he applies his knowledge to the housing development for the masses on a national scale," Erap, through his spokesperson Margaux Salcedo, told Sun.Star

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