Chamber of Real Estate & Builders' Associations, Inc.

A Home for Every Filipino

From the Chairman

Charlie A.V. Gorayeb

Charlie A.V. Gorayeb

Chairman of the Board, CREBA Chairman, CREBA Advocacy & Legislative Affairs Committee Honorary Consul General, Republic of Djibouti

2011: A Year of Plenty

Two thousand eleven has been a time of plenty and a year of many firsts for the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc. (CREBA).

While many countries in the world have seen continuing what could be referred to as eclectic property downturns and various “Occupy” movements battling against so-called “corporate greed” and social inequalities, the Philippines has experienced steady growth for at least a decade. 

To most industry stakeholders, this phenomenon is seen as amongst the longest happy days in an otherwise boom and bust scenario — thanks to our Overseas Filipinos who pour in investments in residences and second homes. 

Similarly, the boon on services such as business process outsourcing and offshore operations by multinational firms have raked in billions of dollars in government revenues, employment for the skilled workers, and demand in office spaces which provided new opportunities in almost every key city in the country. Property markets likewise rode high on retirement and tourism. Among many others, these sunrise industries have made the local economy immune to the economic malaise that pummeled and brought major economies to their knees.

In the home front, we have witnessed government’s renewed sensitivity to industry concerns and the significant effects of partnerships that built new mutual opportunities among CREBA, the KSA’s, NGA’s, Congress and Senate (e.g. adjustment of BIR thresholds for VAT-exempt transactions, pushing for the Department of Housing Bill as a priority, and an inclusive approach to advocacy initiatives by soliciting the comments and experiences of members through the active TWG’s). 

We thank them sincerely for adopting most of our proposals for their policy, administrative and legislative reform agenda.

In just 10 months since the CREBA-NAR Global Real Estate Council started recruiting International REALTOR® Members, CREBA being the National Association of REALTORS®’ sole cooperating association in the Philippines, Philippine membership became the biggest in Asia. It is also officially the second largest in the world, next to Mexico, among countries outside the Unites States. 

Filipino real estate practitioners should watch out for the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) course to be held at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center on February 20-25, 2012.

With the full support and assistance from its Chapters, CREBA actively participated in the nationwide HUDCC Pabahay Caravan where a Developers’ Forum series featuring the new Housing Loan Receivable Purchase Program (HLRPP) of NHMFC was held. This year, a new Chapter with jurisdiction over Agusan, Surigao and Dinagat Islands, as well as the City of Butuan — CREBA CARAGA Chapter – was born. 

The new and improved CREBA website portal is now active and fully operational. Aside from timely updates, news articles, advertisement opportunities and other useful real estate data, a myriad of links have been made available in the portal making it a virtual one-stop shop for all real estate needs. 

The 20th CREBA National Convention held from October 6-7, 2011 in Manila concluded with resounding success. The Chamber is optimistic that the re-energized tourism trade can be a partner with an equally robust real estate boom. With a resurgent leadership in the Department of Tourism, there would be plenty of ground to believe that visitors will be attracted to invest in residential buildings and real estate ownership.

And thus ends 2011, a year that began with much labor but is now ending with much promise. CREBA takes many important lessons into 2012: a fresh outlook, diversification of reach as well as widening of assets, investment in a strong and reinvigorated membership, and investment in new institutional alliances. 

I have always believed that the property market is practically bottomless.  After ten years, I return to my humble role as national president of CREBA, with renewed vigor boosted by the continuous boom in the property sector.   

Once again, thanks and Merry Christmas to our Board of Directors, Officers, Committees, Chapters, Members, our most active supporters in the real estate and housing sector and most of all to Vice-President and Housing & Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Jejomar C. Binay!

Our fondest thoughts also go out to our founder Atty. Manuel M. Serrano, who has passed on to the afterlife but not before leaving a proud legacy that is CREBA.

Published in the Manila Bulletin December 2011

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