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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Lawmaker seeks housing legislative agenda

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Lawmakers have met with housing leaders to discuss legislative measures affecting the housing sector. 

“At the start of the 19th Congress, foremost in my to-do-list is a policy dialogue with my friends in the housing industry. I very well know we have a lot of suggestions, issues, and concerns on the policy scaffolding of the industry. These have been persisting for years and years. At times, we have incremental developments, but the policy headways we envision have yet to be realized,” OFW party-list Rep. Marissa Magsino said.

The meeting was also attended by Negros Occidental Rep. Jose Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Committee, and Angelito Aguila of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

The housing secotr was represented by the officials of the four big housing organizations—the National Real Estate Association (NREA), Subdivision and Housing Development Association (SHDA), Chamber of Real Estate & Builders Association Inc. (CREBA), and Organization of Socialized and Economic Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP).

Among the measures that the industry representatives raised were the harmonization of laws, alignment of real property valuation regulations, issues on access to land, transport-oriented development, adjustment of price ceiling for socialized housing, accessible financing, and rental housing.

Magsino enjoined the housing industry leaders to provide programs and mechanisms to allow OFWs to have their own homes.

“From the personal accounts during my meetings with our OFWs, one of their primary goals is to have their own family home. They have experienced being evicted out of their rental home, squeezing in their families in the houses of relatives, or living as informal settlers,” Magsino said. 

“And so they endure years of toiling abroad amidst risks to their welfare and safety and despite the pain of being separated from their loved ones, just to be able to save up for a house and lot they can call their own — a proud legacy borne out of their blood, sweat, and tears,” she added.

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