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Property developers build up calls for creation of housing dep’t

(The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The biggest national associations of real estate and housing developers in the country have renewed calls for the immediate passage of the bill creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development to effectively and systematically address the country’s housing need estimated at close to four million units.

The Chamber of Real Estate & Builders Associations Inc. (CREBA) headed by Charlie Gorayeb, the National Real Estate Association Inc. (NREA) led by Marissa del Mar, the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines Inc. (OSHDP) led by Jefferson Bongat and the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association Inc. (SHDA) headed by Paul Tanchi issued a joint statement to manifest the urgency of the proposed law.

The groups said since shelter, along with food and clothing, is one of the three most basic needs of man, provision of the same should enjoy a priority at least equal to tourism, social welfare, environment, education and other fundamental government services, and should be similarly addressed by a full-fledged department rather than just a mere coordinating council.

They emphasized that the proliferation of slums and informal settlements in urban areas clearly manifests the country’s housing problem. Although many communities have been resettled and relocated, the vicious cycle of homelessness remains due to the inadequacy of services and opportunities made available to the relocatees, they added.

According to a study, government allocates less than one percent of total government expenditures for the housing sector, or less than one-tenth of a percent of GDP on the average. This makes Philippine public spending on housing one of the lowest in Asia.

In the light of the serious socio-political repercussions of the ever-increasing magnitude of homelessness which has ballooned to the present backlog, and the major pump-priming role that housing activity plays in the economy, it is imperative that the government accords the highest priority to housing and urban development, they stressed.

The groups cited government’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP) which recognizes decent shelter as of the key ingredients to achieve total human development. “We call on President Aquino to make the DHUD bill a priority and urgent bill of Congress to expedite its passage into law,” they said.

Before the closing of the Senate’s session last July, 16 senators had voted yes on the DHUD bill and approved it on third and final reading. However, a substitute version is still pending in the Lower House. The DHUD bill has even been overtaken by House Bill 6546 or the proposed National Land Use and Management Act.

“With the objective of raising housing production to the highest possible level to match the shortage and the compounding annual demand, the national leadership must show greater focus on housing concerns in accordance with a well-planned and holistic approach. Hence, the DHUD bill must be prioritized and finally passed,” they emphasized.

 

BILL BUILDERS ASSOCIATIONS INC CHAMBER OF REAL ESTATE CHARLIE GORAYEB DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT HOUSE BILL HOUSING JEFFERSON BONGAT AND THE SUBDIVISION AND HOUSING DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION INC LOWER HOUSE NATIONAL LAND USE AND MANAGEMENT ACT NATIONAL REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION INC
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