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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

Homecoming

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After an eight-year hiatus within the doldrums of semi-retirement, it is with great honor and privilege for me to once again take on the reins of leadership for the country’s largest umbrella organization of stakeholders from the allied industries of housing, construction, and real estate development – the Chamber of Real Estate & Builders’ Associations, Inc. (CREBA).

This resurgence could not have come at a more opportune time. The property sector is enjoying its most prolific cycle in recent history; hence it is of utmost importance to reinforce our members’ commitment to CREBA’s mission and vision: advancing land and housing development as a primary catalyst for economic and social progress.

The cityscape is enjoying a major facelift, with redevelopment occurring everywhere. Old districts and neighborhoods are replacing their decrepit structures with spanking new buildings featuring state-of the-art construction and even green designs. Vertical villages have emerged as the practical and value-for-money address that urban dwellers have embraced. Building means growth; investments convey progress; good business leads to an upsurge in economic activity; and domestic growth always spells good news for the country.

I have always believed that the property market is practically bottomless. After eight years, I return to my humble role as national president of CREBA, with renewed vigor boosted by the continuous boom in the property sector. It is refreshing to finally witness the industry’s paradigm shift towards that market niche of affordable, quality
projects that can be patronized by the B-C or middle class segment.

We now have condominium developments everywhere around the metropolis with units priced around the range of P2.5 million. For families with a preference for single-detached homes, they can still afford competitively priced properties in the peripherals of Metro Manila, somewhere around the range of P3.5 to P5.5 million.

With the increasing spending power of the middle class, plus the remittances coming from our OFWs, we see no end in sight for the industry’s flourishing growth. We have an average of 800,000 Filipinos leaving the country every year to work abroad. While recent global events have forced some of them to come back, the figures certainly would not be off-set by these tragic situations. Our analysts should not just churn out negative forecasts when it comes to Filipinos, who happen to be very resilient – perhaps the most of any race.

For instance, what others see as political turmoil in the Middle East, we can consider as key events that would pave the way for opportunities in the future. This restructuring can eventually result to a democratic style of governance, so that means more businesses and investments will be coming in. At the end of the day, they will need more workers, and that is where we come in.

It is just as timely that we revive this column which regularly came out on the Real Estate & Construction page of this prestigious publication, as early as 1982 during the incumbency as CREBA president of now Congressman Amado S. Bagatsing. For all intents and purposes, we shall be using this avenue to create awareness, address critical issues, and update our members on various regulations and other related issuances that directly impact housing and real estate development.

So welcome back to CREBA Speaks, and we hope to be able to bring you issues and concerns regarding the industry as well as the advocacies of our organization. The Chairman of Manila Bulletin, Dr. Emilio Yap, has been kind enough to allow us again to bring CREBA Speaks to the Property page of the country’s leading broadsheet.

We hope to reach out to our members and strengthen our position as an umbrella organization of some 3,500 firms, individuals and associations directly or indirectly involved in land and housing, construction, and its allied industries.

Once again, in behalf of our members, we would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Yap, the management, and editors of Manila Bulletin.

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 the CREBA.

Published in the Manila Bulletin April 2011

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