P220-B housing funds remain untapped | Inquirer Business

P220-B housing funds remain untapped

5-point plan to address 5.5M backlog pushed
By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 01:15 AM January 13, 2015

The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations Inc. (Creba) has proposed a five-point housing agenda that aims to address the current 5.5 million socialized housing backlog in the country and boost the contribution of the industry to the local economy.

In a forum Monday, Creba national chair Charlie A. V. Gorayeb noted that the group’s proposals were all targeted at boosting the production of housing units to about 500,000 units a year over the next two decades from the less than 100,000 socialized housing units that were being developed yearly. Not only will these measures boost economic activities and provide additional employment, but will also ensure more decent living conditions for more Filipino families.

Creba said its five-point agenda would ensure the availability of long-term and affordable funds for socialized and economic housing; affordable homes for employees in urban areas; adequate lands for residential, commercial, and industrial development; efficient local government housing regulations, and a full-fledged housing and urban development state agency.


Gorayeb pointed out that about P220 billion worth of untapped funds could be made available for the socialized housing sector by virtue of existing laws, namely, Republic Act (RA) 7835 or the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act (CISFA) of 1994; RA 8282 or the amended Social Security System charter; RA 8291 or the amended Government Service Insurance System charter, and RA 9679 or the new Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) charter.


According to Gorayeb, the P220 billion could be used for the proposed Centralized Homebuyer Financing Program (CHFP), which will ensure centralized funding and decentralized lending for socialized housing units. Of the P220 billion, P100 billion may come from the unused or residual agri-agra funds of banks to be remitted as a lump sum in exchange for two- to five-year housing bonds; P70 billion from Pag-IBIG Fund’s investment in housing bonds as provided in its charter, and P25 billion each from SSS and GSIS’ investments in housing bonds as mandated by certain laws.

“The amounts set aside for housing by various existing laws must be integrated and put under a Housing and Urban Development Fund. These funds will be the springboard for the operation of the country’s long-term mortgage backed Securitization Program to further augment the CHFP fund,” the agenda read.

Creba has also sought the creation of a Local Housing Board to act as the central unit for all housing-related functions, and of a Department of Housing and Urban Development, which will serve as the highest national policy making body empowered to address all housing concerns, including financing, production, regulation and administration.

The group has also expressed support for a proposed bill that aims to put in place a national land-use policy.

Gorayeb dispelled “inaccurate accusations” that real estate developers have been the culprit in diminishing agricultural lands, noting that the total built-up area, including roads, as of end 2010 was only 2.52 percent (or only 741,353 hectares) of the country’s total land area. Land for agricultural uses remained the biggest at 42.72 percent or 12.58 million ha.

Creba likewise sought the passage of a bill amending RA 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) of 1992. The group, in particular, is seeking the reduction of socialized housing quotas to more realistic, feasible levels.


It said that reducing the socialized housing quota to 15 percent would make it more realistic and feasible for subdivision developers to comply with.

The proposed coverage of condominiums under the socialized housing quota will be workable if compliance projects will be reduced to a more reasonable cap of 5 percent of the net saleable residential area instead of 20 percent of the total project area or cost.

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TAGS: Business, chamber of real estate and builders associations inc., Creba, housing

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