Senator Win Gatchalian is appealing to local and foreign real estate players to help the government provide affordable and high-quality socialized housing to underprivileged Filipinos.
In a keynote speech he delivered before the members of FIABCI-Philippines during the International Forum and Property & Real Estate Awards Gala Night, Gatchalian recognizes the pivotal role of property developers in meeting the housing needs of the country.
Citing Colliers International, however, Gatchalian said that private property developers are much more interested in meeting the demand for high-end or luxury developments “than they are in addressing the even greater need for low-cost housing.”
“The potential of the Philippine real estate sector is sky high… there are opportunities for growth and development all around us. Along with these opportunities, however, come the very real threats of homelessness and inadequate shelter presented by the country’s low-cost housing shortage,” the senator said.
Gatchalian believes that the socialized housing sector presents a great, alternative opportunity for private developers to tap into, given the shortage of low-income homes in the country reported by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
Data from HUDCC shows that as of 2012, the housing backlog was 1,373,981 units. HUDCC noted that the housing backlog climbed to 1,749,408 units between 2013 and 2015. The government’s highest policy-making body for housing projects the backlog could skyrocket to 12.5 million housing units by 2030 if left unaddressed.
Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992, as amended in 2016 by Republic Act 10884 or the Balanced Housing Development Program Amendments, requires developers of proposed subdivision and condominium projects to develop an area for socialized housing equivalent to 15% of the land area or total project cost for subdivisions, and 5% for condominium projects.
HUDCC Resolutions No. 1 and 2, series of 2018, requires subdivision developers to offer these units for a maximum of P480,000 to P580,000, depending on the floor area. For condominium developers, the maximum price cap is between P700,000 to P750,000 for those within Metro Manila, and between P600,000 and P650,000 for those outside Metro Manila.
“I firmly believe that private real estate players can play a pivotal role in creating innovative business models that would provide high quality socialized housing at a lower cost, and engineer consumer-friendly financing options that would put decent and comfortable housing within the means of the marginalized sectors of our society,” the lawmaker said.
Furthermore, Gatchalian stressed that the private property sector will be able to build their own businesses “while, at the same time, playing a direct role in nation-building.”
“The Philippine housing backlog is something that must be addressed. Underprivileged Filipinos need and deserve to have roofs over their head,” he said.