Retired general Eduardo del Rosario is new housing czar
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The agency once led by Vice President Leni Robredo will now be headed by retired army general Eduardo del Rosario.
Del Rosario was appointed Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairperson by President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, July 12. His appointment papers were released on Thursday, July 13.
Duterte, speaking in Ormoc City, Leyte on Thursday, explained why he decided to appoint a military man as housing czar.
"Mas madali 'pag ang andiyan military kasi mas madali utusan 'pag military (It's easier when the military is there because it's easier to give instructions to the military)," he said.
The President wants the military to lead in the rehabilitation of Marawi City, explaining why he designated Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as head of the rehabilitation task force.
Before being given the post, Del Rosario served as Department of National Defense (DND) undersecretary for veterans and retiree affairs.
Under the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III, Del Rosario was executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), he and the NDRRMC were accused of "underreporting" the death toll. People on the ground pegged the number of casualties at 10,000. Government records say over 6,300 died. Del Rosario resigned after, citing health reasons.
Del Rosario also headed the task force which searched for the plane that had crashed carrying Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, husband of Vice President Robredo.
While he has ties to the previous administration, he has connections with Duterte as well.
He was once commander of Task Force Davao and was commander of the 73rd Infantry Brigade assigned to Davao provinces.
Del Rosario is yet another former military appointee of Duterte's.
He will be working closely with Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, a former New People's Army rebel, since the HUDCC is among the government agencies Duterte placed under Evasco's supervision.
During the months after Robredo relinquished the post, it was Evasco who stood in as housing czar. – with reports from Jazmin Bonifacio / Rappler.com