Real estate developer Jose Larion Acuzar, Filipino, 67 years old, was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) on 30 July 2022. He also serves as the Chairperson of the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees.
Sec. Acuzar began his career in housing development by working as a draughtsman for the Tondo Foreshore Redevelopment Project (TFRP) in 1975, while still in college. He continued working in the project after TFRP and other resettlement and housing agencies were abolished later that year to form the National Housing Authority (NHA).
After his engagement with NHA, he started a small ironworks company in 1982, serving as contractor for landscaping and steel works for public housing projects. In 1986, he established the New San Jose Builders, Inc. (NSJBI), initially contracted to develop NHA projects in Bagong Silangan in Quezon City, and in Caloocan City. Eventually, NSJBI became involved in government projects such as a 10-hectare Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) housing project in Fairview, the Katarungan Village 1 and 2 in Muntinlupa City, the renovation of the Court of Appeals building, and the QC Hall of Justice, among others. Presently, NSJBI engages in a diverse range of real estate projects – from condominiums, residential projects, and mixed-use developments. NSJBI also served as project manager for the construction of the Philippine Arena, in collaboration with Hanwha Engineering and Construction Company.
Sec. Acuzar’s successful venture in real estate allowed him to expand his investments in various sectors such as education, health and wellness, and the arts. He acquired Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) in 2014. He also established Victoria Sports Club and Victoria Skin. He also owns the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (Acuzar’s Philippine Houses) – a 300-hectare heritage-inspired tourism and recreational development site.
Sec. Acuzar completed a certificate course in Draughtmanship from the Bataan National School of Arts and Trade (currently, Bataan Peninsula State University). After which, he pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture in MLQU, transferring after a year to continue his studies in Technological Institute of the Philippines.
Sec. Acuzar’s ventures earned him various awards and distinction, including Historic Hotels Worldwide’s 2021 Best Historic Hotel in Asia and the Pacific Award for Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, and an honorary doctorate degree in fine arts from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in 2014.
Despite his several business ventures, Sec. Acuzar does not hold any directorship from public-listed companies.
Upon assumption of his post, Sec. Acuzar attended an orientation and briefing on Pag-IBIG Fund’s programs and operations held at the DHSUD office on 01 August 2022.
*Data as of December 31, 2022