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Biz Buzz: Real estate and the presidentiables

/ 12:08 AM December 25, 2015

THE REAL estate industry is one sector with a huge multiplier effect on the economy.

Thus, as the 2016 presidential election heats up, property portal Lamudi Philippines seeks to contribute to the presidential evaluation discourse by outlining each aspirant’s accomplishments that in some way benefited the real estate industry.

Mar A. Roxas II: As a former legislator, he authored Republic Act 8748, an amendment to the Special Economic Zone Act.

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Although establishments operating in the ecozones are exempted from paying taxes, this amendment required them to remit 5 percent of gross income: 3 percent to the government and 2 percent directly to the treasurer’s office of the host city or municipality. This law also sanctioned “disturbance compensation” for residents who were displaced to give way for the ecozone construction. Roxas also authored Republic Act 8756, which gave incentives to multinational companies establishing regional headquarters here, including issuance of multiple-entry visas to expat employees and immediate family members, a fixed withholding tax on compensation of 15 percent and exemption on value-added tax.

(Roxas’ support for the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector helped this industry become a key driver of the property sector and the economy over the years).

Miriam Defensor Santiago: Cited as one of the country’s most prolific legislators, Lamudi said that among the pertinent bills she had co-authored was Republic Act 9646 or the Real Estate Service Act (Resa). This law called for the professionalization of the real estate service by means of mandating all practitioners to be licensed by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), the same way that lawyers, doctors, engineers, nurses and architects were licensed by the agency.

Grace Poe: The neophyte senator has yet to leave a mark on the real estate industry, Lamudi said, saying, however, that she had led hearings on public transport, most notably on the rehabilitation of the Metro Railway Transit (MRT) and Light Railway Transit (LRT).

Jejomar Binay Jr.: As head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Binay claims a number of accomplishments for the country’s key shelter agencies, including the provision of house and lot packages, lots, or houses valued at P268.83 million to almost 800,000 families. Quoting Binay’s spokesperson, Lamudi noted that under Binay’s term as housing czar, Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or the Pag-IBIG Fund became the largest shelter agency with assets reaching more than P376 billion. Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) had also become stricter in monitoring the real estate industry, most notably on advertisements which could mislead buyers of properties, such as inaccurate locations and exaggerations.

Rodrigo Duterte: Although long-time Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte has yet to make his political contributions felt, Lamudi noted his “well-lauded” accomplishments as a local chief executive. “Observers believe Davao City became more progressive (and safer) under his watch, and among his most important ordinances is the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which outlined flood- and landslide-prone areas within Davao City where human settlement is prohibited,” Lamudi said. “He is also quite popular for his focus on peace and order, and many of his supporters hope he can accomplish in the entire Philippines what he had in Davao City.” Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

 

Gifts that keep on giving

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THERE is still time to make that mad dash to buy a gift before heading off to the family lunch or dinner on Christmas Day.

But why settle for those pre-packaged and oh-so-impersonal gifts that already come in boxes in department stores, when you can get a meaningful gift that benefits both the giver and the receiver?

This especially applies to those who already have everything and won’t really miss that extra bottle of wine.

For these people, you can consider giving items offered by the Philippine Disaster Resilience (formerly Recovery) Foundation, a private sector-led nonprofit organization that is focused on building a safer Philippines.

PDRF, co-chaired by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. chair Manuel V. Pangilinan and Ayala Corp. CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, is offering everything from P200 disaster risk handkerchiefs to P3,000 Noche Buena packages for typhoon victims and Zamboanga siege refugees and P15,000 one-year Cignal satellite TV connections for refugee centers.

Christmas packages that can be ordered through Joyce Diwa of PDRF at t-madiwa@pdrf.org go all the way up to giving a transitional shelter for a family for P35,000 and reforesting a hectare of the Marikina Watershed for P60,000.

With these gifts, one can celebrate the season knowing that the warm fuzzy feeling will last until way past the 2015 holiday season. Tina Arceo-Dumlao

PPP boss looks ahead

WITH President Aquino’s term entering its final stretch, his executives must already be making post-administration plans.

Apparently that’s not the case with the head of the PPP Center, which still has a growing pipeline of infrastructure projects, most of which will not be rolled out within Aquino’s term.

While unsure of her next step, PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao is certain of what she will not do, which is to immediately join the infra teams of the many conglomerates that have participated in PPPs.

Canilao, though not restricted from doing so, said it was more out of principle, despite the enviable skill set she has acquired helping build the PPP Program “from scratch” into what it is today.

The Aquino administration’s flagship infrastructure program, while far from perfect, has achieved results in the last five years. It has awarded 12 projects valued at about P217 billion.

After the next administration takes over, Canilao said she could also opt to pursue more entrepreneurial goals in, you guessed it, the infrastructure space.

Canilao, whose background is in investment banking, said she was open to starting an infra-focused private equity fund here. Given her experience in this field, that might just be a venture worth betting on. Miguel R. Camus

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TAGS: Business, economy, elections 2016, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas, News, Special Economic Zone Act
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