The country’s largest association of housing and real estate stakeholders has appealed against proposed bills in Congress increasing the current mandatory balanced housing compliance quotas for subdivision and condominium developers saying the move will bring a halt to projects that are already in the pipeline.
It would also reportedly suppress the newly-found resurgence of the property sector from the negative effects of the pandemic, the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc. (CREBA) claimed in a statement.
CREBA emphasized the constitutional mandate of the state in pursuit of the common good, to undertake, in cooperation with the private sector, a continuing program of urban land reform and housing. Through the enactment of appropriate enabling laws, the national shelter program is aimed to make available at affordable cost, decent housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlement areas.
Ballooning housing backlog
According to CREBA national chairman Charlie A. V. Gorayeb, the passage of the Urban Development & Housing Act or UDHA in 1992 was backed by an eagerly supportive housing development sector confronted by an already ballooning housing backlog even as government imposed upon developers of subdivision projects the responsibility to build socialized housing units equivalent to 20% of their total project area or cost . This to ostensibly help accelerate the country’s housing production rate in exchange for various types of incentives.
Noel Toti M. Cariño, national president, CREBA supported the amendment of UDHA thru Republic Act No. 10884 of 2016 which reduced the balanced housing quotas for subdivisions to only 15% to make it more realistic for developers to comply with and still be able to effectively uphold its mandate to deliver housing units for the marginalized beneficiaries.
Condominium developers, in turn, started carrying the same social burden for up to 5% of their total project area or cost since 2016.
The CREBA leaders expressed alarm over legislative efforts to revise the law anew via House Bill No. 1234 filed by Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy which will jack up mandatory compliance by condo developers to up to 20%. Meanwhile, House Bill No. 3589 filed by Rep. Michael Romero, will reportedly require subdivision compliance to as much as 25%. The group said such changes are “untimely and anti-development.”
“Mere permits and license applications for each stage of property development, not to mention actual construction, takes at least 5 years to unfold; sudden changes in regulations will be economically disadvantageous, risky even, for developers.” Gorayeb said.
Cariño underscored that any further attempts at over-regulation or over-taxation by the legislature or regulatory bodies will ultimately affect affordability because developers have no choice but to pass on any additional cost to the homebuyers.