VP Binay is new housing czar
MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - Vice-President Jejomar Binay on Thursday said he has accepted the offer of President Benigno Aquino III to take charge of the housing sector as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
In a statement, Binay said he has always maintained his readiness to assist Aquino in attaining his vision for the Philippines and the Filipino people.
"I look forward to implementing the president's objectives for housing and shelter and working with volunteer organizations like the Gawad Kalinga, with whom I share a common dream of building not just homes but sustainable communities for our people," he said in the statement.
The HUDCC position is one of 5 government posts originally offered to Binay.
President Aquino welcomed Binay's acceptance and said he was looking forward to working with the former Makati City mayor.
"The president welcomes the vice-president's acceptance of HUDCC. He 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," said Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
On Tuesday, Aquino told Malacañang reporters that he was informed Binay "now wants a government position."
“Pero pakibilisan lang niya. Nababawasan na ang inaalok ko. Kailangan ko talaga ng tao. Katulad ng [Metropolitan Manila Development Authority], di ba sa kanila rin ang flooding,” Aquino noted.
Binay had earlier expressed preference for the Department of Interior and Local Government portfolio.
Aquino, however, gave the post to former Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo.
Binay and the Aquino family have been close political allies. Binay helped in the movement to bring down the Marcos dictatorship and install the democratic government of Mrs. Corazon Aquino.
After she assumed the presidency, Mrs. Aquino appointed Binay officer-in-charge of Makati City, leading to the Binay family's uninterrupted 24-year reign over the country's financial-commercial capital.